World Vision releases child trafficking report in support of law for stricter punishment of Canadian traffickers - Bill C-268

    -   World Vision launches report on child trafficking in time for debate
        over Bill C-268.
    -   Aid agency pushes for a national strategy and a minimum sentence for
        child trafficking.
    -   Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Women and children comprise
        88 per cent of victims.

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 12 /CNW/ - Today international aid agency World
Vision weighed in on the Bill C-268 debate with the release of "10 Things You
Need to Know About Human Trafficking". Private Member's Bill C-268 will impose
a minimum sentence for child traffickers in Canada. It is scheduled for third
reading in the House later this month and World Vision is urging
Parliamentarians of all parties to support the legislation and protect
    World Vision's report draws on the aid agency's extensive reach in the
Asia Pacific Region where children are trafficked at an alarming rate. The
report combines external research with case studies to paint a broad picture
of rights abuses and child exploitation across many industries in Asia's
notorious trafficking hotspot, the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
    While trafficking into the sex industry is still a priority issue
affecting women and girls who represent the majority of identified
transnational victims, the report includes testimonies from boys who have been
trafficked onto farms or fishing boats, children trafficked into begging or
vending on city streets, young girls forced into domestic labour and babies
forcibly removed from mothers to sell into adoption.
    In the report, World Vision calls for greater recognition and
criminalization of all human trafficking activities, many of which are
tolerated by communities, overlooked by authorities and even sanctioned by
    "This is Canada's moment to take concrete steps to protect children and
let potential traffickers know that this isn't a 'slap-on-the-wrist' crime,"
said Carleen McGuinty, World Vision's policy advisor for child protection. "By
imposing a minimum sentence for those convicted we can start to set a standard
in our own backyard. We want all MPs to vote for this law and protect
children." World Vision hopes this will be the beginnings of a national
strategy on human trafficking.
    World Vision has been actively supporting Bill C-268 and continues to
call for a national anti-human trafficking strategy to address the domestic
and global aspects of this crime. The agency made recommendations to the House
of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, where it said that
support for the bill is a critical step in protecting children
    "It's disturbing to think that human trafficking could produce profits
exceeding $31 billion for criminals at the expense of the lives of the
victims. It's time for Canada and the international community to be serious
about stopping this crime," said McGuinty.

    Notes to Editors:

    -   Bill C-268 was introduced by Conservative Member of Parliament Joy
        Smith on January 29, 2009. It is scheduled for third reading this
        month. The bill, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentences
        involving trafficking of persons under the age of 18), will amend the
        criminal code to include a minimum prison term of five years for
        cases where the trafficked victims were under the age of 18.

    -   World Vision works in 24 countries or territories in the Asia Pacific
        Region, and is actively engaged in programs to end or mitigate human
        trafficking. The agency's strategies to reduce trafficking in the
        region revolve around reducing vulnerabilities, influencing
        governments and assisting trafficking survivors, with particular
        emphasis on child protection, safe migration and improved policy.

    -   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.

For further information:

For further information: For a copy of the report and/or interviews,
please contact: Tiffany Baggetta, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2485, (416) 305-9612

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