Human trafficking must be stopped

215
Letters to the Editor

WINNIPEG – LETTERS – This horrendous crime targets young women and is quickly becoming the biggest criminal enterprise in the world. These girls – some as young as 5 – are often forced into the sex trade, leading to a life of exploitation and slavery.

I’m proud to have championed this cause as an MP over the past 11 years. I’m proud of what our government has done to crack down on traffickers, and what we’ve done to help victims and to protect potential victims.

Under a bill I introduced, child trafficking is a new criminal offence – with a mandatory minimum sentence of five years.

We’ve made sure that any Canadian citizen or permanent resident who participates in human trafficking outside Canada will be prosecuted in Canada.

And we’re also working to educate and protect the victims of these crimes.

Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced funding for Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES). CLES is a community-based group in Montreal dedicated to supporting women and girls who have been victims of sex trafficking. They work with victims of human trafficking, and the people most at risk of becoming victims.

They are helping these women understand their rights and help them exit a life of exploitation.

In partnership with groups like CLES, we can empower victims of sexual and human trafficking, as well as those most at risk of being exploited.

The measures we have taken – and continue to take – will benefit mothers, daughters, and women here in Canada and around the world. I’m proud of our role in the fight against human trafficking.

Sincerely,

Joy Smith
MP, Kildonan – St Paul