Anti-Human Trafficking & Exploitation
The Public Affairs Office first became involved in public policy dialogue relating to anti-human trafficking and exploitation in 2014 in response to the federal government’s legislation addressing prostitution and exploitation. Following the election in 2016, the federal government indicated that it was open to re-examining the legislation and looking at how Canada addresses human trafficking more generally. The Salvation Army has been involved in a number of roundtables and consultations with the Department of Justice and Public Safety Canada.
The Salvation Army has a unique voice in the national anti-human trafficking and exploitation conversation. We are one of the few national organizations that runs programs, both residential and outreach, for survivors and for perpetrators. Additionally, we have the only first stage residential recovery unit that incorporates a detox program for those in need.
The Public Affairs Office has been involved in tracking, attending and/or participating in three separate consultations and reviews.
- Public Safety Consultation – The Way Forward
- House of Commons Justice and Human Rights Committee (JUST) Consultations
- Territorial Anti-Trafficking and Exploitation Working Group – Development of new Strategic Plan
In our submissions to federal policy makers, we have advocated for the following:
- The need for more first stage supports and programs for survivors of trafficking with a better understanding of the impact that drugs (and especially the current opioid crisis) are having on survivors
- Establishment of a National Hotline to provide psychosocial support for those in need
- Looking at ways to address the many barriers survivors face in relation to the criminal justice system
- For the government of Canada to use and maintain a clear, comprehensive, concise, and widely adopted definition of human trafficking, based on the Palermo Protocol, in all legislation
- The need for regulatory enforcement of social development and activities, mandatory cultural competency training, along with accountability and law enforcement presence on and around work camps to lessen the impact on neighbouring communities and the demand for exploitation from Indigenous persons.