Feature in the e-Handbook on Legislating against Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Forced Labour

March 31, 2020

On March 31, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) launched the second volume of the e-Handbook on Legislating against Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking & Forced Labour, which is a comprehensive resource for parliamentarians and parliamentary officials on legislating effectively against modern slavery-related crimes.

Due to the cross-party efforts of the APPG, we were invited to submit a case study featuring our work and activities to combat modern slavery and human trafficking.

Survivor Panel on Parliament Hill

March 10, 2020

On March 10, the APPG hosted a panel of survivors and experts for an event entitled “Sex Trafficking & Sexual Exploitation in Canada: Roots, Realities & Solutions.” It was a packed room for these powerful panelists, with over 30 MPs and Senators and over 100 participants in total. Panelists included Diane Redsky, a First Nations Leader in Winnipeg with over 20-years dedicated to addressing the sexual exploitation/trafficking of women and girls; Valérie Pelletier, a survivor of prostitution, radical feminist, and public speaker from Montréal; Cherry Smiley, a feminist from the Nlaka’pamux and Diné Nations who was a frontline anti-violence worker and is currently a PhD Candidate at Concordia University; Hennes Doltze, a program manager with the Salvation Army Correctional and Justice Services Winnipeg and works with men who have exploited vulnerable people for sex; and Trisha Baptie, who was in the sex industry for 15 years, is a citizen journalist covering the Robert Pickton trial and is the founder of EVE – formerly Exploited Voices now Educating.

Demonstration at MindGeek HQ

March 8, 2020

On March 8, International Women’s Day, APPG Co-Chair Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne spoke at a demonstration in front of MindGeek’s Canadian headquarters in Montréal, where women’s groups, sexual exploitation survivors, and anti-human trafficking organizations gathered to protest the availability of videos of child sexual exploitation and of sex trafficking victims on MindGeek websites, like Pornhub—the world’s most popular porn website.

The following day, a letter was sent to the Prime Minister to draw his attention to the activities of MindGeek by a group of Senators and MPs including the APPG Co-Chairs.

National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

February 22, 2020

On February 22, 2007, the Canadian House of Commons passed a motion condemning the trafficking of women and children across international borders for the purposes of sexual exploitation. For the second year in a row, the APPG to End Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking tried to have motions adopted in the Senate and the House of Commons to establish February 22 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Over the past two years, the APPG has been working with anti-human trafficking NGOs across Canada to gain their input and support to have this motion adopted. Based on our consultations, many of these organizations already use this day to raise awareness in their communities and would like February 22 to be federally recognized as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

The motions followed a month of advocacy calling all parties to support February 22 as the National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Unfortunately, neither of the motions were successful. The APPG will continue to advocate for the designation of a National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Canada.

Tabling of Bill S-211

February 5, 2020

On February 5, APPG Co-Chairs MP John McKay, MP Arnold Viersen, and Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne held a news conference to announce the tabling of Bill S-211, the Modern Slavery Act, by Senator Miville-Dechêne in the Senate. The Co-Chairs will continue to advocate for adoption of Bill S-211. Click here to learn more about Bill S-211.

The APPG to End Modern Slavery’s Co-Chairs announcing the tabling of the Modern Slavery Act, Bill S-211, by Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne.

International Justice Mission Trip to Bolivia

October 26 – November 2, 2019

The International Justice Mission (IJM) Canada invited APPG members to join a delegation of Canadian judges, lawyers, court administrators, and law enforcement traveling to Bolivia to share best practices in cases of child sexual abuse and violence against women.

Four members of the APPG to End Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking joined the trip. Unfortunately, political unrest due to the presidential elections disrupted much of the itinerary of the trip.

The Mekong Club Briefing with Matt Friedman on Parliament Hill

September 19, 2019

The APPG Co-Chair Senator Christmas hosted a presentation on modern day slavery and supply chains led by Matt Friedman for Senators, Members of Parliament, and staff.

Matt Friedman is an international human trafficking expert with more than 30 years’ experience. He is CEO of The Mekong Club, an organization of Hong Kong’s leading businesses which have joined forces to help end all forms of modern slavery. Mr. Friedman offers technical advice to numerous governments and corporations working to eliminate all forms of modern slavery.

The APPG to End Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking visits Edmonton

August 1, 2019

On August 1, 2019, APPG Co-Chair MPs Christine Moore and Arnold Viersen spent the day meeting with a variety of anti-trafficking organizations based in Alberta. Through these meetings, they gained valuable insights into the human trafficking situation in Edmonton and throughout Alberta, and of the good work that is being done to combat it by these committed organizations.

Guest Speaker Timea Nagy

June 3, 2019

The APPG to End Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking hosted two presentations on Parliament Hill where Timea Nagy, who is a human trafficking survivor, author, speaker, and social advocate, was the keynote speaker. At noon, Senators, Members of Parliament, and staff heard from Ms. Nagy. In the evening, over 100 community members and organizations attended a panel discussion with Ms. Nagy, along with survivors and frontline workers.

During the panel discussion open to the public, Timea Nagy was accompanied by Simone Bell from Ottawa Police Victim Support, Wendy Gee from A New Day Youth & Adult Services, and Jennisha Wilson from Tungasuvvingat Inuit.

After the public panel discussion, Timea Nagy held a brief book signing for her newly released memoir, Out of the Shadows.

Launch of the National Human Trafficking Hotline

May 29, 2019

When the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking launched Canada’s first ever National Human Trafficking Hotline, the APPG to End Modern Slavery highlighted this milestone through a press release, a congratulatory letter, and the following statement in the House of Commons by APPG Co-Chair, MP Arnold Viersen (Peace River—Westlock):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday was a historic day in the fight against human trafficking in Canada. I am pleased to announce that the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking launched Canada’s first-ever national human trafficking hotline. It is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24-7, 365 days a year. The national human trafficking hotline equips Canadians with the ability to report cases of human trafficking in their communities. Most importantly, victims and survivors of human trafficking seeking assistance can contact social services or law enforcement, regardless of where they are located in Canada. On behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, I want to thank the Centre and all of its partners for its incredible work on this initiative. Congratulations. If Canadians are being trafficked or suspect human trafficking in their community, they can call 1-833-9001010. Let us end human trafficking in this country.

Briefing by the International Justice and Human Rights Clinic on the Transparency in Supply Chains Act

April, 2019

Members of the International Justice and Human Rights Clinic (IJHRC) at the Peter A. Allard School of Law traveled to Ottawa to brief the APPG to End Modern Slavery on proposed legislation entitled the Transparency in Supply Chains Act (TSCA). The IJHRC drafted the TSCA as a comprehensive model regulatory framework for human rights protection in the operations of Canadian businesses abroad. More information about the effort to introduce ‘supply chain legislation’ in Canada, as a measure to prevent modern slavery, can be found here.

Round-Table with Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network

February 20, 2019

The Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network had reached out to the APPG to End Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking for a meeting. On February 20, 2019, we had the opportunity to meet with them. We heard of their work, listened to their concerns, and were able to share of our work, purpose, and goals with them.

Co-founders MP Arnold Viersen and Senator Daniel Christmas with members of the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network.

Shine a Light on Slavery Day

February 7, 2019

For Shine a Light on Slavery Day, the APPG to End Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking sent out a request to Members of Parliament and Senators to participate by marking their hands with a red X and posting it on social media. Members and Senators raised their voices to bring awareness to slavery.

International Justice Mission Cybersex Trafficking Briefing

January 28, 2019

Human trafficking is a crime that has quickly evolved because of the Internet. For that reason, the APPG hosted a briefing on cybersex trafficking between Canada and the Philippines. Members heard presentations from a Crown Prosecutor, an RCMP officer, the Director of IJM Canada, and the Director of IJM Philippines on the current situation.

Public Screening of Redeeming Uncle Tom: The Josiah Henson Story

December 2, 2018

In honour of the International Day Against Slavery, the APPG hosted a public screening of Redeeming Uncle Tom: The Josiah Henson Story. Josiah Henson was a former slave who fled to Canada and used his freedom to fight slavery.

National Human Trafficking Hotline Briefing

November 8, 2018

The APPG was pleased to have The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking come and share information about the new national human trafficking hotline launching in the spring of 2019. The APPG hosted two briefings, the first for MPs and Senators and the second for stakeholders including local frontline services and law enforcement.

Launch of the APPG to End Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking

April 28, 2018

On April 26, 2018, Canada’s first All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking was launched by thirty-four Senators and Members of Parliament from across political parties including members from the Liberal, Conservative, NDP, and Green parties as well as the Independent Senators Group.

MPs Arnold Viersen, Robert-Falcon Ouellette, Christine Moore, and Senator Dan Christmas were elected as Co-Chairs of the APPG.