The Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2017

On February 22, 2017 The Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2017 was introduced. If passed, this bill would create would introduce the Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking Act, 2017 and Human Trafficking Awareness Day Act, 2017.  The Remedies for Human Trafficking Act would establish a process for survivors and those at risk of being trafficked to apply for restraining orders.  It would also enable survivors to sue their traffickers for compensation.  Human Trafficking Awareness Day Act, 2017 would make every February 22nd Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  This is intended to raise awareness for Human Trafficking.

Press Release: Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network

July, 2016

Provincial efforts should be equally focused on labour trafficking and internationally trafficked persons who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

Members of the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network are embracing the Ontario government’s efforts to fight human trafficking by investing up to $72 million in an anti-human trafficking strategy aimed at increasing awareness and coordination, enhancing justice-sector initiatives and improving survivors’ access to services. The Network is praising the government’s approach promoting the 4Ps (Protection, Prevention, Prosecution and Partnership) thus, working collaboratively with all stakeholders, including civil society.

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U.S. Department of State has released its 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report.

Attached is Canada’s Report

Some highlights: In general, there is more awareness and resources against sex trafficking compared to labour trafficking.

Prosecution: “The government convicted six sex traffickers and no labor traffickers in 2015 compared to eight sex traffickers in 2014. ”

Protection: “Civil society reported provincial and territorial governments often lacked adequate resources and personnel to effectively monitor the labor conditions of temporary foreign workers or to proactively identify human trafficking victims among vulnerable groups”

Prevention:  “In 2015, the government announced an overhaul of the temporary foreign worker program to increase detection of abuse and prioritize Canadian employees over lower paid migrants.”

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Statistics Canada: Trafficking in persons in Canada, 2014

Released: 2016-07-12

In 2014, Canadian police services reported 206 human trafficking violations in Canada, accounting for less than 1% of all police-reported criminal incidents.

Over a six-year period from 2009 to 2014, more than 9 in 10 human trafficking victims in Canada were female (93%). Human trafficking victims were also generally young, with almost half (47%) of them aged from 18 to 24 over this time frame.

The majority of people accused of police-reported human trafficking from 2009 to 2014 were male (83%). Persons accused of human trafficking were most commonly between the ages of 18 to 24 (41%) and 25 to 34 (36%).


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New Release: Ontario Taking Steps to End Human Trafficking

Ontario Taking Steps to End Human Trafficking:

Province Investing in Strategy to Improve Services, Help Survivors

June 30, 2016 12:01 P.M.- Women’s Directorate
Ontario will invest up to $72 million in an anti-human trafficking strategy aimed at increasing awareness and coordination, enhancing justice-sector initiatives and improving survivors’ access to services.

Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, accounting for roughly 65 percent of police-reported cases nationally.  Drawing on feedback from experts and community partners as well as successful initiatives from other Canadian jurisdictions, the new Strategy to End Human Trafficking focuses on four areas of action:

  • Prevention and Community Supports that will increase awareness and understanding of the causes of human trafficking, and improve community services like housing, mental health services, trauma counselling, and job skills training to meet the immediate and long-term needs of survivors.
  • Enhanced Justice Sector Initiatives that will support effective intelligence-gathering and identification, investigation and prosecution of human trafficking.
  • Indigenous-Led Approaches that will support culturally relevant services and responses — designed, developed, and delivered jointly with Indigenous partners.
  • Provincial Coordination and Leadership, including the development of a provincial Anti-Human Trafficking Coordination Office to help improve collaboration across law enforcement, justice, social, health, education, and child welfare sectors.

The Strategy to End Human Trafficking delivers on Premier Kathleen Wynne’s commitment made in February 2016 to address human trafficking and is a part of the government’s vision to ensure that everyone in the province can live in safety — free from the threat, fear or experience of exploitation and violence.

Quick Facts

  • Human trafficking” is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, coercion, deception, repeated provision of a controlled substance) for an illegal purpose, including sexual exploitation or forced labour.
  • Of Ontario’s reported cases of human trafficking, about 70 per cent are for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and the majority of survivors are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
  • Individuals who are most vulnerable as targets for human trafficking include Indigenous people, young women, at-risk youth, youth in care, migrant workers, and persons with mental health and addiction issues.
  • In many cases of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, trafficked persons may develop “trauma bonds” with their traffickers, and may not view themselves as victims. As such, human trafficking is believed to be a vastly underreported crime.

Background Information

Additional Resources


Tracy MacCharles

“Human trafficking is a deplorable crime and human rights violation that robs the safety, livelihood and dignity of those who are being exploited and abused. We are committed to keeping women – and all Ontarians – safe. The release of this strategy reinforces our continued dedication to this cause.”

Tracy MacCharles

Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues

David Orazietti

“Ontario is committed to protecting and supporting survivors of human trafficking and working to prevent this heinous crime in the future. We have clearly heard from those on the front-lines of this issue that there needs to be sustained supports to help survivors repair their lives, more training to help our justice sector partners investigate and prosecute these crimes, and deeper coordination at every level to fight human trafficking. Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking delivers on all of these fronts in a way that focuses on the wellbeing of survivors and holds offenders accountable.”

David Orazietti

Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Dr. Helena Jaczek

“It is critical for survivors of human trafficking to have access to the supports and services they need to leave a life of violence and exploitation. Through the new Anti-Human Trafficking Coordination Office, our government will fund agencies and frontline workers, including those serving Indigenous communities, to help survivors of human trafficking live in safety.”

Dr. Helena Jaczek

Minister of Community and Social Services

“The province’s announcement today is a significant step in the right direction. We look forward to continuing our work with the government as it moves toward a more coordinated and focused approach to address this critical issue in Ontario.”

Bruce Rivers: Executive Director, Covenant House Toronto

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CALL FOR PAPERS The Lessons of History Anti-Trafficking Review Guest Editor: Julia O’Connell Davidson



The Lessons of History

Anti-Trafficking Review

Guest Editor: Julia O’Connell Davidson




Deadline for Submission: 8 January 2017


The Anti-Trafficking Review calls for papers for a themed issue entitled ‘The Lessons of History’.


Anxieties about ‘human trafficking’ have helped to spark a revival of anti-slavery activism over the past two decades, but the precise relationship between what is termed ‘trafficking’ and what is termed ‘modern slavery’ is unclear. The UN Trafficking Protocol (2000) states that ‘slavery’ is just one of several possible outcomes of ‘trafficking’, while anti-slavery campaigners state that ‘trafficking’ is just one of a number of different forms of ‘modern slavery’. Meanwhile, in political and NGO rhetoric, ‘trafficking’ is frequently described as a ‘modern-day slave trade’ and the term ‘trafficked persons’ often used interchangeably with ‘modern slaves’. Anti-trafficking campaign materials also make heavy use of visual tropes alluding to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. But are such historical references really warranted?


Sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois insisted that we attend to history when attempting to make sense of contemporary experience, observing that ‘the past is the present; that without what was, nothing is’. However, different stories can be told about history, and the histories we choose to tell (and to hear) can produce very different understandings of the present. This special issue will consider the lessons that history might hold for those engaged in anti-trafficking work today. It will critically examine the ways in which the history of transatlantic slavery is increasingly invoked in dominant discourses on trafficking, ask about the pasts that created a present in which people are transported by means of coercion or deception for purposes of exploitation, and consider what history might usefully teach us about anti-trafficking policy and activism. Contributors are invited to engage with, but need not limit themselves to, the following questions:

  • Does transatlantic slavery really provide a useful historical comparator for the phenomena grouped today under the heading of ‘human trafficking’, and if not, why is this comparison so frequently made?
  • Can historical research on the means used to recruit and supply labour to factories in newly industrialising regions of Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries shed any light on what is today described as ‘labour trafficking’?
  • What lessons might the history of the ‘Coolie’ system hold for contemporary debates on trafficking? How might public and policy debate change if victims of trafficking were represented as ‘modern coolies’ instead of ‘modern slaves’?
  • Could historical studies of fugitive and maroon slaves in the Atlantic world, and/or of the methods by which slave states sought to prevent slave escape and constrict the mobility of the enslaved, teach us about phenomena described as ‘trafficking’ in the contemporary world?
  • Race and racism are living legacies of transatlantic slavery. Why does this aspect of slavery’s ‘afterlife’ receive so little attention in contemporary debates on trafficking?
  • Is the history of early twentieth century responses to ‘white slavery’ and ‘trafficking in women’ of continuing relevance for contemporary discourse and policy on ‘human trafficking’?
  • Do the politics and history of the anti-slavery movement hold any lessons for today’s anti-trafficking campaigners? Similarly, do more recent histories of the anti-trafficking movement hold lessons for today’s campaigners?
  • Why do anti-trafficking campaigners use the term ‘slavery’, and what different connotations does it take, based on national histories? How does the use of the term in Brazil, for instance, differ from its use in India, the US or the UK? What other terms and framings with their own historical trajectories are pushed aside and how has this changed today’s policy and practice responses?
  • What do those affected, including those categorised as ‘trafficked’ or ‘at-risk’, think of the ‘slavery’ terminology and its historical allusions?


The Debate Section of this issue will invite authors to defend or reject the following proposition: ‘It is inaccurate and unhelpful to describe trafficking as the modern equivalent of the slave trade.’


The Review promotes a human rights based approach to anti-trafficking, exploring anti-trafficking in a broader context, including gender analyses and intersections with labour and migrant rights. Academics, practitioners, trafficked persons and advocates are invited to submit articles. Contributions from those living and working in developing countries are particularly welcome. The journal is a freely available, open access publication with a readership in over 100 countries. The Anti-Trafficking Review is abstracted/indexed/tracked in: ProQuest, Ebsco Host, Ulrich’s, Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association, Directory of Open Access Journals, WorldCat, Google Scholar and CrossRef.


Deadline for submission: 8 January 2017


Word count for Full Article submissions: 4,000 – 6,000 words, including footnotes, author bio and abstract


Word count for Debate submissions: 800 – 1,000 words, including footnotes and author bio


Special Issue to be published in September 2017 


We advise those interested in submitting to follow the Review’s style guide and submission procedures, available at Manuscripts should be submitted in line with the issue’s theme. Email the editorial team at with any queries.


Thematic Issue Guest Editor: Julia O’Connell Davidson


Editor: Borislav Gerasimov


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