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Updates from MP Joy Smith
News Release
Anti-Human Trafficking Bill Adopted by House of Commons

April 27, 2012

Ottawa, ON: Today, Bill C-310, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons), passed at Third Reading with unanimous consent. Bill C-310 will now go to the Senate for consideration.

“I am absolutely delighted with the adoption of Bill C-310 today by the House of Commons and look forward to it being adopted by the Senate in a timely manner,” said MP Joy Smith. “Bill C-310 will have a significant impact on the anti-human trafficking efforts of Canada here at home as well as abroad. This legislation will place important legal tools into the hands of prosecutors and law enforcement.”

Bill C-310 amends the Criminal Code by adding the current trafficking in persons offences [s.279.01, s.279.011, s.279.02, and s.279.03] to the list of offences which, if committed outside of Canada by a Canadian or permanent resident, could be prosecuted in Canada. The Bill also adds an interpretive aid for courts to provide greater clarity of the definition of exploitation in s.279.04 of the Criminal Code.

“Today, modern day slavery exists in all corners of our globe and our resolve to eliminate it must only grow stronger,” said MP Smith. “It will take concerted efforts across party lines to effectively combat human trafficking in our country as well as abroad. I look forward to working with all members of Parliament to fight this egregious abuse of human rights.”

Since introducing Bill C-310, MP Joy Smith has presented petitions containing 1000’s of signatures from Canadians calling for the adoption of the legislation. Many organizations have also lent their support for this legislation, representing stakeholders such as law enforcement, victim’s services, and non-governmental organizations.

MP Joy Smith is one of Canada’s leading anti-human trafficking advocates and has previously succeeded in passing legislation to combat human trafficking. In 2010, MP Joy Smith’s Bill C-268 became law creating Canada’s first child trafficking offence with stiff minimum sentences. MP Smith has also drafted a proposal for a National Action Plan to Combat Human trafficking called ‘Connecting the Dots’ that is being developed by the Canadian Government.

For more information please contact:
Joel Oosterman
Office of Joy Smith, MP
Phone: (613) 992-7148
Mobile: 613-220-6795
Email: smithj8@parl.gc.ca

Backgrounder – Timeline of Bill C-310
October 3, 2011 – Introduced at First Reading
October 25, 2011 – First Hour of Debate at Second Reading
December 12, 2011 – Second Hour of Debate at Second Reading
December 12, 2011 – Unanimously referred to the Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights
March 15, 2012 – Reviewed, Amended and Adopted by Standing Committee on Justice & Human Rights
March 30, 2012 – Recorded Vote Forced at Report Stage
April 4, 2012 – Recorded Vote on Bill C-310 – Unanimous Support
April 27, 2012 – Bill C-310 Debated and Passed at Third Reading

Backgrounder – Organizations Supporting Bill C-310
• Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime
• Canadian Women’s Foundation
• International Justice Mission Canada
• Ratanak International
• The Salvation Army
• Beyond Borders
• World Vision
• CEASE: Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation
• Ukrainian World Congress Taskforce to Stop Human Trafficking
• National Council of Jewish Women of Canada
• The Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women
• Help Us Help The Children Anti-Trafficking Initiative(HUHTC-ATI)
• Walk With Me
• [free-them]
• Hope For The Sold
• Sextrade 101
• MAST (Men Against Sex Trafficking)
• LAHT (London Anti-Human Trafficking Committee)
• Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
• Maple Leaf Alberta Projects
• The Zonta Club of Canada
• Temple Committee Against Human Trafficking
• Defend Dignity
• Christian and Missionary Alliance

Backgrounder - Statements of Support

Prof. Benjamin Perrin, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law, and author of Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking (Penguin, 2011) “Human traffickers have evaded prosecution for their heinous crimes, in part, because Canada’s criminal laws are not explicit enough to clearly encompass the range of tactics employed by these serial exploiters. Member of Parliament Joy Smith is again responding to concerns by police and victims’ groups in seeking to amend our human trafficking laws to hold traffickers accountable and protect victims. I call on all Parliamentarians to support this initiative.”

Jamie McIntosh, Executive Director, International Justice Mission Canada “The crime of human trafficking often transgresses international boundaries, with vulnerable men, women, and children subject to its devastating reach. Human traffickers, including those of Canadian nationality, will persist in their illicit trade if they believe their crimes will go unpunished. Extending authority to prosecute Canadians for human trafficking crimes committed abroad is an important step in the global fight against human trafficking. As a nation, we must commit to prosecuting Canadian nationals who commit these crimes, regardless of geographical location at the time of offence.”

Timea Nagy, Program Director, Walk With Me “As an internationally trafficked survivor, who has been working with Canadian law enforcement to help human trafficking victims, I am absolutely thrilled to see this legislation presented by Mrs. Smith. It is clear, that Mrs. Smith has consulted professionals, experts from the field, and listened. This Bill will help Canadian law enforcement and prosecutors to be able to do their job and send a message to traffickers around the world, that Canada does not tolerate this crime against human dignity.”

K. Brian McConaghy, Founding Director, Ratanak International “It is imperative that Canada continues to maintain and enhance a position of strength combating modern day slavery both domestic and international. It is a given that we must protect those weak among us who are at risk of being trafficked. It is no less important that we protect those in other countries from Canadian predators who would traffic in human lives. Such Canadians must be held fully accountable for their actions. This amendment, conforming to international legal norms, positions Canada to do just that and as such is to be commended.”

Shae Invidiata, Founder, [free-them] “In conjunction with The Act and The Purpose, The United Nations deems a case to be human trafficking if ‘threatened of’ or ‘use of violence, force, coercions, fraudulent misrepresentation or fraudulent means’ is used. Without any hesitation these methods constitute exploitation and, in supporting Mrs. Smith’s Private Members Bill, should be amended into the Criminal Code of Canada.”

Irena Soltys, Ukrainian World Congress Taskforce to Stop Human Trafficking "The amendments to Bill C-310 proposed by Member of Parliament Joy Smith are critical to the headway of combating human trafficking at both national and international levels. Bringing clarity to the definition of Exploitation will close the gaps that have allowed offenders to continuously sidestep the justice system and elude punishment for some of the most atrocious crimes known to mankind. At an international level, we as Canadians aspire to be respectable and virtuous global citizens which demands that we recognize and hold accountable those Canadians that disrupt the laws and ethics of our nation within or outside its borders, especially for acts of such monstrosity as human trafficking and exploitation."

Michelle Brock, CoFounder, Hope For The Sold "The current gap in the Criminal Code essentially tells the international community that Canada is not capable of holding its citizens accountable for exploiting vulnerability abroad. This is a stain on Canada's reputation. In addition to this, Canada's lacking definition of exploitation allows traffickers to play the system while law enforcement, lawyers, prosecutors, and victims lack the required tools with which to make their case. Bill C-310 is an absolute necessity if this country is to take the fight against human trafficking seriously."

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada “The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is pleased to support Bill C-310, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons), another positive initiative by MP Joy Smith to combat human trafficking. We are hopeful that Bill C-310 will receive strong support in Parliament and become law in Canada. We also encourage the Government of Canada to take additional steps to develop a National Action Plan to combat trafficking.”

Liliane Kohl and Peggy Sakow, Chairpersons, The Temple Committee Against Human Trafficking “It is our position that any Canadian who is found trafficking in human beings must face charges at home. We believe there is a responsibility to being a Canadian citizen whether at home or abroad. Bill C-310 is yet another step forward in responding to the growing world scourge of sex trafficking. We are honoured to support Bill C-310.

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