Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Roundtables to combat human trafficking in Toronto area


Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network


Building Collaboration to Combat Human Trafficking in the City of Toronto

A Series of Roundtables

The Roundtables series carried out over several months to facilitate the dialogue between multi-sector stakeholders to address the issue of human trafficking in the City of Toronto. The series will begin with an extended roundtable conference that will bring together multi-sector stakeholders to initiate dialogue and begin to develop protocols and promising practices to offer services and protection tailored to the needs of trafficked persons. The initial roundtable will be followed by two subsequent meetings, to work through longer-term goals, new developments and unforeseen challenges.

  • Establish and foster relations between multi-sector stakeholders;
  • Develop model for response and collect promising practices in delivering services and protection to trafficked persons corresponding to the particularities of Toronto area;
  • Initiate policy development on city and provincial level.
Roundtable One
Date: 28 and 29 October 2013
Venue: Toronto Harbour Light Ministries, 160 Jarvis Str. (at Queen Str.)
Time: 9am to 5pm 

Day one
Series of panel presentations by multi-sector stakeholders who dedicate their work to counter human trafficking followed by a discussion.
Day two
Working group discussions to initiate a dialogue on policy development and set the stage for the following meetings to work through longer-term goals, new developments and unforeseen challenges

Contacts: For more information, please contact Varka Kalaydzhieva, tel.: 416-469-9754, ext. 222 or at     


The project is funded by the City of Toronto

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Human-trafficking conviction in nanny’s case hailed as precedent-setting - The Globe and Mail

Authorities and domestic worker advocacy groups across Canada are applauding this week’s landmark human-trafficking conviction in British Columbia, calling it a precedent-setting victory in the fight against a crime that has seen fewer than 50 guilty verdicts in Canadian history.

Franco Orr, who was accused of keeping Filipina nanny Leticia Sarmiento in domestic servitude in B.C. for nearly two years, was convicted Wednesday of human trafficking, employing a foreign national illegally and misrepresenting facts that could induce an error.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Canada’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking - One Year In!


On June 6th, 2012 Canada launched the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking. The Annual Report on the progress made in the implementation of the plan is soon to be released.

More information about the National Action Plan here

Couple charged with human trafficking first in London Police history | Metro

A London man and woman are the first two people in the history of the London Police Service to face charges related to human trafficking.
As a result of what police are calling the Human Trafficking Pilot Project, 36-year-old Steven McDonald and 31-year-old Kristen MacLean, both of London, have been charged with several offences including:
Trafficking in persons by exercising control.
Receiving a financial/material benefit, from the commission of an offence.
Procuring illicit sexual intercourse.
Exercising control over a person for prostitution.
Living on the avails of prostitution of a victim over 18 years of age.
As well, McDonald faces charges of attempting or procuring a person to be a prostitute, sexual assault and giving an intoxicating substance to a person for sex.


Canadian Council for Refugees new report "Temporary Resident Permits: Limits to Protection for Trafficked Persons"

In May 2006, the Canadian government issued guidelines for temporary resident permits (TRPs) for trafficked non-citizens. This represented an important step towards recognition of the protection needs of trafficked persons, and TRPs remain the main avenue to protection offered under Canada’s immigration legislation. However, experience has shown that, even with the TRPs, there are continuing gaps in access to protection and rights for trafficked persons. Trafficked persons continue to fall through the cracks.

The CCR has issued a new report, Temporary Resident Permits: Limits to protection for trafficked persons that examines shortcomings of the program, including the following:

· Access to TRPs is limited in practice, and now in law;

· When trafficked persons do receive TRPs, their rights are restricted;

· Options for receiving permanent protection are uncertain;

· Trafficked persons continue to be detained and deported.

While the CCR acknowledges the many positive aspects of the permit, it continues to call for clearer statutory protection for trafficked non-citizens.

The report is available online at:

U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2013 Released

On 19 June the U.S. Department of State released its 2013 global report on trafficking in persons. The TIP Report is published every year and provides a summary of almost every country’s response to trafficking as well as their compliance with the U.S. Department of State’s standards. Even though the report considers Canada to be a country that complies with these standards, it urges it to improve on many areas. Some of the recommendations include: in the areas of:

  • intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and sentence trafficking offenders using anti-trafficking laws;
  • enhance specialized care services available to trafficking victims in partnership with civil society and through dedicated funding;
  • increase use of proactive law enforcement techniques to investigate trafficking cases, including allegations of forced labor;
  • amplify efforts to educate officials working in law enforcement, immigration, the justice sector, health care, and social work about human trafficking;
  • strengthen coordination among national and provincial governments on law enforcement and victim services.
Download the Report here


Awareness-raising: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has lunched a Blue Heart Campign


What is the Blue Heart Campaign?
An awareness raising initiative to fight human trafficking and its impact on society.
The Blue Heart Campaign seeks to encourage involvement and inspire action to help stop this crime.
The Campaign also allows people to show solidarity with the victims of human trafficking by wearing the Blue Heart.


The Blue Heart
The Blue Heart represents the sadness of those who are trafficked while reminding us of the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings. The use of the blue UN colour also demonstrates the commitment of the United Nations to combating this crime against human dignity.
In the same way that the red ribbon has become the international symbol of HIV/AIDS awareness, this campaign aims to make the Blue Heart into an international symbol against human trafficking. By "wearing"the Blue Heart you will raise awareness of human trafficking and join the campaign to fight this crime.

Follow the Blue Heart

By following the Blue Heart you can change your Facebook profile picture to a Blue Heart, stay connected through Twitter or watch videos on human trafficking on YouTube. Get involved and support the Blue Heart Campaign virtually.

Campaign website:

For more information on the Blue Heart Campaign, please contact:

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
PO Box 500, 1400 Vienna, Austria

UN Member States appraise Global Action Plan to combat human trafficking

13 May 2013 – Top United Nations officials are today urging the UN General Assembly to fully implement key anti-human trafficking treaties and to cooperate more closely to counter the multi-billion dollar industry which has trapped some 21 million men, women and children in forced labour.
“No effort must be spared to bring to an end the servitude of millions, while helping the survivors rebuild their lives,” General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic told the opening of the two-day high-level meetings on improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons. He said that human trafficking is now a global criminal enterprise that ensnares millions of people into forced labour and domestic servitude, sexual work and child soldiering. According to 2005 estimates released by the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO), profits generated in the sex industry alone are as high as $32 billion a year. During the high-level meeting, countries will examine progress made on the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Adopted in 2010, the Plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the United Nations' broader programmes to boost development and strengthen security around the world.