Government plan to combat human trafficking hits target

OTTAWA, June 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Today's announcement of Canada's new strategy to combat human trafficking is a strong step in the right direction. World Vision is thrilled that this plan looks beyond our own borders - recognizing that this global problem requires global solutions.

World Vision's child protection expert, Carleen McGuinty, just returned from Cambodia and Thailand last week where she met with a former human trafficker in the seafood industry, immigration officials, children who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation by foreigners, and NGOs working to rehabilitate victims. She was on hand today at the Canadian government's announcement of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.

Here's what Carleen had to say:

"I've seen the impacts of human trafficking up close, met with victims and seen the destruction this horrific crime causes in the lives of children and families. This plan is a strong, clear step in the right direction to responding and recognizing that there are Canadian connections to trafficking - this is a borderless crime."

"I was recently in Thailand where boys and girls were slipping under the fences at illegal border crossings and I've also seen the children flooding over the Haiti-Dominican border. These children are prey for trafficking—if they aren't victims already. World Vision is pleased to see that this new plan to combat human trafficking is zeroing in on the international aspects of this crime, such as unsafe migration and helping to support other countries to stop human trafficking. Of the 2.4 million people trafficked in the world, half of these victims are children, so it's critical this work by Canada makes a difference in the lives of vulnerable boys and girls."

"Through our work in developing countries, we can see the stark link between child labour and trafficking. Thankfully, this plan acknowledges a link between cheap labour and human trafficking. Moving forward, Canada needs to consider how our trade, supply chains and consumer choices are fueling this crime.

"Canadians may be shocked to realize that their demand for cheap goods is a driver for human trafficking abroad. What we buy when we shop - the brands we chose, the companies we support, the questions we often don't ask - allow the problem to thrive. Individuals, governments and businesses all have a role to play in tackling child slavery."

"It's crucial that all actions to tackle human trafficking look beyond the tragedy that is the sexual exploitation of girls and women. Through our field work, we've learned that boys are just as vulnerable as girls. This can be seen from Canada to Cambodia. In a recent labour trafficking court case in Hamilton, men were the victims. In Cambodia last month I met a boy who was sexually exploited by a foreigner."

"A plan on paper is a great first step. Moving forward it's important that there will be sufficient resources available to move the plan from paper to action and protect the millions of boys, girls, men and women who are being trafficked overseas right now and those at risk."

For more information, please visit World Vision's End Child Slavery Campaign site at: www.endchildslavery.ca

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information:

For interviews, please contact:

Tiffany Baggetta - mobile 416-305-9612 tiffany_baggetta@worldvision.ca
Britt Hamilton - mobile 416-419-1321 britt_hamilton@worldvision.ca


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