Co-chair of the APPG to End Modern Slavery Independent Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne tabled Bill S-216, the Modern Slavery Act, in the Senate in October 2020. During its Second Reading in March 2021, it was referred to the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce for the Committee Stage. The bill was first presented as a Private Members’ Bill (Bill C-423) in 2018 by MP John McKay, but died in the House of Commons due to the 2019 election. Senator Miville-Dechêne tabled Bill-216’s predecessor (Bill S-211) in February 2020, but due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was unable to proceed. The End Modern Slavery Group is hopeful that this third version of the bill will come to pass. Click here for more information on Bill S-216.
On November 20, 2018 Bill C-75 was passed in the House of Commons. It was passed by the Senate on June 21, 2019, which made human trafficking a hybrid offence instead of an indictable offence in Canada.
Some members of the APPG and anti-human trafficking stakeholders were concerned with the impact that Bill C-75 would have on human trafficking. Despite expressing these concerns, Bill C-75 became An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts after it was passed by the Senate in 2019.
May 25, 2020
Published on May 25, 2020, an article was co-written by the three End Modern Slavery Group co-chairs at the time: Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne, MP Arnold Viersen, and MP John McKay. COVID-19 pandemic increases risk of modern day slavery demonstrated that communities that already experience a high vulnerability of becoming victims of modern slavery are now at a higher risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Letter to the Prime Minister
March 9, 2020
On March 8th, APPG’s Co-Chair Julie Miville-Dechêne spoke at a demonstration on March 8th outside of MindGeek, the owner of popular pornography sites including Pornhub which profit off of sexual exploitation. The following day, some members of the APPG wrote Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking for his help to protect women and youth, particularly those who are victims of child sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, and sexual assault, from further exploitation online. The APPG called on the Liberal Government to:
- Review the federal legislative and regulatory framework to ensure Canada’s laws fully prohibit the distribution of material featuring victims of child sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, and sexual assault.
- Ensure that MindGeek’s activities follow Canadian law including, Bill C-22, an Act respecting the mandatory reporting of Internet child pornography by persons who provide an Internet service, which came into force on December 8, 2011, and Bill C-13, the Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act, which came into force on March 10, 2015; and
- Take whatever other steps are necessary at the federal level to ensure that companies that sell, produce, make available or publish sexually explicit content be required to verify the age and consent of everyone represented in such material.
News Release: Grand Prix
Over the years, the Grand Prix has led to an increase of sexual exploitation as pimps take advantage of the event to recruit young women for sex trafficking. The Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES), Youth Prevention Laval, Youth Prevention Longueuil, and the YWCA Montreal organized a campaign “Un Trop Grand Prix” and a website to raise awareness and support for victims of sexual exploitation during the Grand Prix.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking sent out a news release highlighting this campaign and encouraging all those participating in the Grand Prix to remain vigilant and to report all forms of human exploitation to the newly launched National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Letter to the Minister of Immigration
A joint letter from multiple members of the End Modern Slavery Group called upon the Hon. Ahmed D. Hussen to review a case that was under consideration whereby Guatemalan and Honduran migrant workers brought to Ontario under false pretenses, and who were subsequently exploited and coerced, are at risk of further harm or exploitation due to their Temporary Resident Permits not being extended.
Letter to the Fiance Minister
October 30, 2018
This letter signed by members of the APPG applauded the Government for commencing the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline, but called upon them to increase funding for places to link victims to so they can receive social services. It also called upon the Finance Minister to fund the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS), which aims to tackle the issue with an integrated approach at the macro level. Dedicated funding for GFEMS from the Government of Canada would complement the funds already committed from many of our partner countries including the U.K. and the U.S.
Unfortunately, the response that the APPG received from Hon. Minister Morneau’s office did not promise any funding for either of the initiatives.