Office of Joy Smith, M.P. Kildonan-St. Paul

Office of Joy Smith, M.P. Kildonan-St. Paul

June 28, 2012 12:25 ET

Anti-Slavery Bill Now Law - No Safe Haven for Traffickers in Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 28, 2012) -

A photo is associated with this press release.

Bill C-310, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons), introduced by Manitoba MP Joy Smith, will receive Royal Assent today. The anti-slavery law amends the Criminal Code by extending extraterritorial jurisdiction to the current human trafficking offences and enhances the definition of exploitation in the human trafficking offence through an interpretive aid for courts and police.

"Today, in Canada, men, women and girls are bought and sold for the purposes of forced labour and sexual slavery," said MP Joy Smith. "Bill C-310 provides important tools to law enforcement and courts by strengthening Canada's human trafficking offence in the Criminal Code and prevents Canada from being a haven for Canadians who engage in human trafficking abroad."

MP Joy Smith introduced Bill C-310 in October 2011 to address concerns raised by law enforcement and NGOs. Canadians have been known to travel abroad and engage in human trafficking and slavery and return to Canada without fear of prosecution. During a Senate Committee hearing on Bill C-310, Hamilton Crown Attorney Toni Skarica, who successfully prosecuted Canada's largest human trafficking ring, testified that there were Canadians currently residing in Canada who regularly traveled abroad to engage in human trafficking.

Law enforcement across Canada have also indicated that their investigations could benefit greatly from increased clarity in the definition of exploitation in Canada's human trafficking offence. Bill C-310 adds an interpretive aid that provides factors of exploitation based on the Palermo Protocol such as: used or threatened to use force or another form of coercion; used deception; or abused a position of trust, power or authority.

"Human trafficking is an egregious crime that is often carried out across international borders," said MP Joy Smith. "The impact of Bill C-310, combined with the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking launched earlier this month by our government, positions Canada to take a robust and vigorous stand against modern day slavery."

Canadian law enforcement and NGOs have strongly supported Bill C-310 and acknowledged the impact it will make on anti-human trafficking efforts.

"As an internationally trafficked survivor, who has been working with Canadian law enforcement to help human trafficking victims, this law will send a message to traffickers around the world, that Canada does not tolerate this crime against human dignity," says Timea Nagy, Program Director, Walk With Me.

"The passage of Bill C-310 - and the greater awareness it creates -- will help the OPP and our law enforcement partners and stakeholders more effectively address this emerging issue," says Insp. Scott Naylor, Manager of the OPP Child Sexual Exploitation Unit.

"Extending authority to prosecute Canadians for human trafficking crimes committed abroad is an important step in the global fight against human trafficking. As a nation, we must commit to prosecuting Canadian nationals who commit these crimes, regardless of geographical location at the time of offence," says Jamie McIntosh, Executive Director, International Justice Mission Canada.

"The United Nations deems a case to be human trafficking if the 'use of violence, force, coercion or deception" is used. These methods constitute exploitation and should be amended into the Criminal Code of Canada," says Shae Invidiata, Founder of free-them.

MP Joy Smith will become the first Member of Parliament in Canadian history to make two substantial amendments to the Criminal Code through Private Members Bills. Her last Bill, Bill C-268, passed in 2010, creating a child trafficking offence that is currently being used by a number of police forces across Canada.

In 2007, a motion authored by MP Joy Smith, was unanimously adopted by Parliament and called for the government of Canada to adopt a national strategy to combat human trafficking. Over the past year MP Smith worked with the government of Canada and stakeholders to develop a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking which was launched on June 6, 2012.

For background information on Bill C-310: http://www.joysmith.ca/main.asp?fxoid=FXMenu,9&cat_ID=27&sub_ID=112.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please go to : http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120628-joyb.jpg.

Contact Information

  • Joel Oosterman
    Office of Joy Smith, MP
    (613) 992-7148
    Mobile: (613)-220-6795
    smithj8@parl.gc.ca