Statement by Ministers Goodale and Lametti on the Government Response to Human Trafficking Report
Ottawa – April 10, 2019 – Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, issued the following statement regarding the Government Response to the 24th Report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights titled Moving Forward in the Fight Against Human Trafficking in Canada.
“Most victims of human trafficking are women and girls, including Indigenous women and girls, and marginalized groups in Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to fighting this abhorrent attack on basic human rights and dignity. This terrible crime exploits human vulnerability created by poverty, racism, conflict and lack of social support networks.
We welcome the Committee’s recommendations and are pleased they reflect the work already underway at Public Safety Canada, the Department of Justice Canada, the RCMP, FINTRAC and other partners across the government, including the RCMP’s Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre, which is the focal point for law enforcement efforts to combat and disrupt individuals and criminal organizations involved in human trafficking.
As announced in Budget 2019, the government will develop a new whole-of-government strategy to combat human trafficking, to identify and support victims, protect the most vulnerable and bring perpetrators to justice. This work will also be informed by the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls expected later this spring.
Later this spring, the government will launch a National Human Trafficking Hotline. It will refer victims and survivors to local law enforcement, emergency shelters and a range of other trauma-informed services and supports. It is backed by an investment of $14.51 million over five years, and $2.89 million per year ongoing. Furthermore, nearly $200 million, and $40 million per year ongoing, has been invested in Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.
The Committee’s observations and recommendations are consistent with what we heard from stakeholders, including victims and survivors, law enforcement organizations, provinces and territories, Indigenous organizations, academics, and criminal justice and victim service providers, who shared their knowledge and insight during consultations led by Public Safety in late 2018.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, we thank the Committee for its comprehensive report, as it continues to raise awareness about this horrific crime and how it can be addressed. Equally important, we thank the witnesses, particularly the victims and survivors who courageously testified.”
For more information, a copy of the Report is available on the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights’ webpage. The Government Response will be posted on the same webpage shortly.
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Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
Office of the Minister of Justice
Department of Justice Canada
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