Organized Crime in Canada: What you may not know

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Woman with arms boundHuman trafficking is often described is modern-day slavery, because it involves the coercion of especially women and children to provide labour or sexual services without their consent and for the benefit of another. 

The scope of human trafficking in Canada:

  • In 2010 the Domotor-Kolompar criminal organization had 60 charges laid against them because of luring Hungarians to Hamilton, Ontario, to do unpaid construction work. This was the largest prosecution of a trafficking organisation in the country's history.

  • Between 2005 and 2012 there were 25 convictions on trafficking charges. 

  • In 2012 there were 56 cases in front of the courts of which 90 per cent related to domestic trafficking.

  • The problem is worse in larger cities like Montreal and Toronto, but Vancouver and Calgary have been singled out by law enforcement and NGOs as especially badly affected by foreign trafficking due to their close proximity to the U.S. border (Thompson, 2012; U.S. Department of State, 2009). 

 

Human trafficking occurs where there is an unscrupulous profit-seeker who threatens, intimidates or practices physical, sexual or psychological violence against a vulnerable victim. It thus crosses national and racial boundaries.

The victims are primarily:

  • women, children and foreigners without documents,

  • the poorly educated,

  • the poor and unemployed,

  • those who are indoctrinated to believe that their age, race or gender makes them inferior, and

  • those who are starved for affection or otherwise psychologically vulnerable.

The government's plan of action:

  • Canadian laws against kidnap, assault, sexual assault, forcible confinement, Material benefit and trafficking all apply to cases of human trafficking. 

  • In response, the government established the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking in 2012 as a unified and dedicated plan to deal with the problem. It established a dedicated human trafficking taskforce to prevent trafficking, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators. It increased the budget to combat the problem. It implemented special training for police and border control officers. It formulated public awareness campaigns. It supported research that identified potential victims.

 

We should all give the necessary emotional and financial support to render people less vulnerable.