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May 17, 2013 / Man in the Mirror

National Forum on Trafficking – Toronto (November 2012)

I attended the National Forum on Trafficking Toronto in November 2012. It was a great session where I learnt a lot from agencies, MPs and survivors. I am quite late in posting a few notes…but then better late than never!

I hope these are helpful to you in your work to curb abuse against women:

Human trafficking survivor:

  • Let survivors talk and don’t exploit them
  • Let them take the lead. They are the experts
  • “For something to be a choice, you have to have an option of equal value”
  • Use the Nordic Model
  • Prostitution is male violence against women and children
  • Policies focus on root cause: without demand, sex trafficking will not flourish and expand
  • Suggestion for punishment: 5% of offenders’s annual income (caught 2 or 3 times)
  • Another suggestion for punishment: Why not publish names and information? One should not worry about protecting families of the johns, that is not the fault of the victims, it is the fault of the johns
  • 1% of human trafficking survivors actually enjoy pleasuring men for sex
  • 60% of men are sex addicts
  • UN office has a Blue Ribbon Campaign against human trafficking
  • Use the term survivors and not victims

Deepa Matoo from the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario – Forced/ Non-Consensual Marriage in Canada:

  • Part of the Network of Agencies Against Forced Marriages (NAAFM)
  • Arranged marriages are not the same as forced marriages
  • Arranged marriages are usually not coerced although there is a sense of inability of both of the couple to contest the arrangement
  • Forced marriages are when either of the couple do not agree to the arrangement
  • Forced marriages has nothing to do with how young or how long the couple has lived in Canada. It happens to citizens a lot more
  • Who force marriages? Family, community, religious institutions
  • Sometimes marriage is seen as a cure for mental illness
  • All individuals experience violence in forced marriages
  • 75% of survey reported “mental or social presence”

Shelly Gilbert from the Windsor Essex Anti-Human Trafficking Action Group (WEFIGHT):

  • Types of trafficking: Forced and domestic labour/ debt bondage, marriage and sex trade

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP):

  • In order to combat human trafficking, the RCMP established the Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre (HTNCC) at its headquarters in Ottawa
  • The HTNCC works in collaboration with international, national, provincial and municipal agencies and non-governmental organizations to develop policies, tools, mechanisms and initiatives to fight human trafficking in Canada and abroad

National Forum on Trafficking Toronto:

  • Among the priorities examined at the Forum, participants identified a need for more provincial leadership and further dialogue at a local and provincial level on the role of the provinces in addressing trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual, labour and other forms of exploitation.
  • Participants also recognized that supporting existing relationships and pursuing new alliances between NGOs, front-line service providers and law enforcement locally and nationally are particularly valuable strategies in strengthening an anti-trafficking network across the country


One Comment

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  1. Darcy Reilly / May 20 2013 12:47 am

    Survivors of human trafficking, including a now married mother of two who goes by the name Jasmine, are helping the RCMP.

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