RENATE President, Imelda Poole, IBVM, alerts Canada to the fact that despite being categorised as tier 1, in the TIP Report, Canada a primary target for human trafficking. Speaking on the 18th of May, at the Mary Ward Centre in Toronto, Imelda said Canada has become a primary destination for victims of human trafficking in spite of various initiatives to combat the illegal trade. Imelda was in Canada the same day that Ontario passed the Anti-Human Trafficking Act. Ontario accounts for 69 per cent of reported human trafficking crimes in Canada, according to 2014 data.
About 70 per cent of these cases involve sexual exploitation. The Anti-Human Trafficking Act enables victims or potential victims of human trafficking to obtain restraining orders and also provides a means for victims to sue traffickers for compensation to rebuild their lives. The act also establishes Feb. 22 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Ann McGowan, director of Toronto’s Mary Ward Centre, is generally encouraged by the new law but says it fails to address the underlying issues which lead to humans being trafficked.
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