Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Aboriginal Women and Girls – Literature Review and Key Informant Interviews

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Forum: Issues of trafficking in persons in Canada. – CATHII & McGill

Abstracts and Speakers Biography
Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Aboriginal Women and Girls – Literature Review and Key Informant Interviews. This presentation resume the main results of the NWAC’s report is solutions-oriented and provides many recommendations and practices to help prevent trafficking and help Aboriginal women and girls to exit situations of sexual exploitation. The report also helps shed light on the nature of Aboriginal women and girls’ vulnerabilities to trafficking, and explores the larger societal factors that contribute to their over-representation in sex trafficking in Canada. Service providers, government, and those who engage with and support trafficked Aboriginal women and girls will find the resource valuable for the insights, strategies, and recommendations. NWAC worked with women who were experiential survivors, service providers, officers of the law, and judicial officers to gather information and stories. The presentation will cover root causes, recruitment, prevention, exit strategies, as well as exploring some current Canadian initiatives into trafficking from a perspective that recognizes the importance of addressing the needs of Aboriginal women and girls.
Speaker - Teresa Edwards is a Mi’kmaq woman, a member of the Listuguj First Nation. She has worked for more than 20 years to advance the needs and rights of Aboriginal Peoples, with a particular focus on addressing Aboriginal women’s human rights. Teresa is a Barrister-at-Law in Ontario and has worked in the areas of strategic planning and policy development, mediation and negotiations, legal analysis, and research to address a wide breadth of issues impacting on Aboriginal women. In her current role as the Director of International Affairs and Human Rights, and internal Legal Counsel for the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), Teresa is dedicated to promoting gender equality in such forums as the United Nations (UN) and regional organizations such as the Organization of American States (OAS).


Challenges and Opportunities: Ending Sex Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada. The presentation will focus on the research and recommendations of the Task Force on Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada. The Task Force was created and funded by the Canadian Women’s Foundation in late 2012, and for the following 18 months, it’s 24 Experts undertook consultations across Canada, funded research and brought together national and international experts in order to inform and educate. Ultimately The Task Force created a national anti-sex trafficking strategy that addresses issues and solutions in six priority areas namely: service needs and gaps for trafficked and sexually exploited women and girls, public awareness and prevention strategies, relevant legal, justice and policy issues, sector capacity building and training, government policy as well as funding and philanthropic strategy. As a support to the Task Force on Trafficking of Women and Girls in Canada, Barbara will provide insight into the Task Force accomplishments, knowledge generation and suggested future directions.
Speaker - Barbara Gosse joined the Canadian Women’s Foundation in December of 2012 as Senior Director Research, Policy and Innovation. Barbara sits as a staff member on the Foundation’s National Task Force on Human Trafficking where she oversees the research agenda and evaluative strategy. She is also responsible for strategic research, policy and advocacy activities supporting the Foundation's systemic change work in the areas of economic development, violence prevention and anti-poverty. Previously Barbara was Director of Saving and Asset-Building Initiatives with SEDI (Social and Enterprise Development Innovations), a national, charitable organization dedicated to finding solutions to assist Canada’s low-income population to become economically self-sufficient.
Uncovering Labour Trafficking in Canada: Regulators, Investigators, and Prosecutors. Despite the official priority accorded to the control of labour trafficking, few cases have actually been identified and prosecuted. An action research project was developed to understand how to improve the way instances of labour trafficking are detected, investigated and prosecuted in Canada.

Labour trafficking is best addressed through preventive measures that tackle victimization before it occurs. Some of the prevention measures highlighted during the present project were the following: (1) improving the monitoring of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program; (2) improving employment standards, enhancing worker protection laws, and enhancing labour standards enforcement; (3) ensuring that intermediaries (agents, brokers) are effectively regulated and monitored; (4) providing information to employers; and, (5) providing information to workers.

The most likely labour trafficking victims are irregular migrants and migrant workers whose immigration status is precarious or has been compromised by illegal activities. Given the victims’ fear of deportation and other detrimental consequences, it is rarely in the victims’ interest to ask for the protection of the authorities. It is therefore necessary to find ways to mitigate the negative impact on victims of their decision to bring their victimization to the attention of the authorities. It is also becoming clear that law enforcement agencies must be prepared to more proactively investigate suspected labour trafficking situations, if possible with the collaboration of the relevant regulatory agencies. The suggestion that law enforcement should work more closely with various regulatory agencies was well received. New linkages should be created, in particular to improve the early detection of labour trafficking cases. Finally, labour trafficking investigations are unlikely to succeed unless victims are convinced that they will be protected not only against the offenders, but also against the possibility of deportation and the prospect of losing all avenues of redress or compensation.

Speaker - Yvon Dandurand, a criminologist, is a member at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of the Fraser Valley (British Columbia, Canada) and a Fellow of the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy (Vancouver), a United Nations affiliated institute. He specializes in comparative criminal law and criminal justice research and was involved in numerous criminal justice reform and capacity building projects in Canada and abroad, including several projects and studies in the areas of organized crime, human trafficking, witness protection, corruption, counter-terrorism, crime prevention, policing, and corrections. He has been involved in several projects to facilitate and monitor the implementation of international criminal law conventions, including the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
Frontline Responses to Human Trafficking in Canada: Coordinating Services for Victims. This presentation will give a portrait of existing practices in Canada for the support and protection of victims of trafficking in persons. The presentation will focus on the recommendations in the report intended to support action by stakeholders, to facilitate consultation and cooperation between the latter and, finally, to facilitate the provision of services that respond appropriately to the specific needs of victims of trafficking.
Speaker - Jill Hanley is a professor at the McGill School of Social Work. Her research mainly focuses on community organizing and social policies in relation to immigration. She especially explores labour, health and housing problems experienced by migrants with precarious status. Moreover, she is involved with the Immigrant Workers Center where she was co-founder. She also plays an active role in the Quebec Coalition against Human Trafficking.
Launch - Frontline Responses to Human Trafficking in Canada: Coordinating Services for Victims.

Speaker - Alexandra Ricard is a PhD candidate at the School of social work of McGill University. Her doctoral research focuses on human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation in Quebec (interventions and perceptions). She also works in the Transcultural Research and Intervention Team (CSSS de la Montagne) on access to health care for undocumented pregnant women.

Friday, January 30rd 2015 at School of Social Work, McGill University, Montréal

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