There have been some new initiatives in both Canada and the United States in the work against human trafficking. In Canada, we finally have a nationwide hotline for persons who are in a trafficking situation and need help. The number is 1-833-900-1010, and it can be a call or a chat. Learn more on the website.
In the United States, the Catholic Sisters have a new website, which is now hosting the Stop Trafficking newsletter: https://www.sistersagainsttrafficking.org/. It also includes a monthly reflection. The reflection this month is very timely as it is about women survivors who are living in a safe house during this time of isolation. Read it online.
The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) continues its work on advocacy for people caught in trafficking situations of every sort. They held a National Forum in November in Ottawa. The key theme of this year’s forum was protection and justice for trafficked persons. The report of the Forum can be read here.
Following up on the Forum, the CCR has produced an “An Anti-Trafficking Action Strategy”. In it the CCR calls on the federal government to adopt a holistic approach to human trafficking that addresses root causes, protects rights, provides permanent status and offers access to justice and to services. Now more than ever is the time to focus attention on our demands, in light of the government’s new National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (2019-2024). The CCR has five central policy demands:
- Root Causes: Recognize and address systemic inequalities that are the causes and consequences of trafficking.
- Protect Rights: Protect the rights of trafficked persons and those at risk. This means fixing laws and policies that create barriers and providing better protection of rights.
- Permanent Status: Provide permanent protection of trafficked persons. This means implementing legislative changes to ensure that there is a permanent and fundamental change in policy to protect trafficked persons.
- Access to Justice: Ensure effective access to justice. This means stronger human rightsbased recourses, and implementing law reform that is non-punitive and recognizes trafficking in all its forms.
- Access to Services: Ensure universal access to public services for trafficked persons and those at risk. This means access healthcare, education, childcare services, and other psychosocial services.
Sr. Lois Anne Bordowitz, FCJ
This text is taken from the Summer 2020 issue of the ad vitam webzine “Laudato Si’: Caring for Creation and future generations”