Bam Bam….
By Anam Ansari

July 4, 2008

Canada and human rights? Don’t think so!

The United Nations defines human trafficking as:
“the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”
First of all, who actually read all of that?! Second of all, who fully understood all of that (if they read it)?! Third of all, a cluster of technical words may exemplify the intelligence and coherent language of the author of the UN definition of human trafficking, BUT it does not even display 0.0001% of the horrific experience each woman has to go through who has ever been a victim of this trade. As a Canadian teenager concerned about these innocent women, I can’t help but wonder what is being done by our very own Canadian government for these helpless young ladies. The simple answer would be, “not much.” (Literally!) The last time I checked, Canada is supposed to be a strong supporter when it comes to human rights, but may I pose a question that: isn’t the freedom to live life without being forced into having sexual relations with strangers, by your identity being stolen away, by someone you trust, a basic human right? Yes it very much is!
There are so many reasons that Canada needs to strengthen its laws on human trafficking that I may even need to make a Part II to this article! To begin with, during my research on this issue I discovered that the federal government created the Interdepartmental Working Group on Trafficking in Persons (IWGTIP) to provide a solution to trafficking. I know, when I read that I thought “Wow! That’s amazing! Our government is actually taking a step.” But wait, there’s more. IWGTIP has still not speculated a solution in the time span of FIVE YEARS. In addition to that, other non-government organizations which are tackling the exact same issue have not even heard about this government organization. So much to say about this! It really makes one wonder why a GOVERNMENT organization has not put itself forth to the public and to other organizations to tackle such a disturbing issue. Needless to say, it’s apparent (in my opinion) that the government has not been trying to co-operate with other organizations or even formulate a solution for the victims of trafficking in Canada. Still, I thought, well Canada obviously may have some laws on how to treat victims of this inhumane activity. Whoops, I’m wrong once again. There are currently no laws in Canada regarding how to treat the victims of trafficking except one tiny law stating that an immigration officer MAY grant a temporary resident permit of until 120 days only (Raaflaub, 3). Let’s do that math, 120 days = 4 months. 4 months sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that:
a.) victims are provided with no counselling in majority of the cases after they are discovered
b.) victims are not even provided with the basic health care after they have been through something which majority of Canadians do not even think about due to their very comforted lifestyle (for which we should feel blessed)
c.) they are usually deported or deemed criminals immediately after they are discovered
d.) they are sent back to the business of the sex trade if they are discovered by a corrupt “figure of authority”
e.) the victim may not get a decent and well paying job immediately because of various reasons
Do you still think that 4 months is enough time for someone to get over the traumatic experience they have been through without counselling, and if they are not deported or imprisoned without reason, then can they settle in a foreign country in a matter of 4 months? I think not.
I understand that there are many political and immigration policies which have to be taken into consideration when making new laws and policies, but shouldn’t these tortured victims be provided with the most basic terms of human rights in a country which claims it is devoted to the value of life? Merely in my opinion, I don’t think they are valuing life when they don’t even attempt to fix the situation of human trafficking in our country. Personally it makes me very angry and it’s about time that we, as the voice of Canada stepped up and take a stand against women in desperate situations being promised that they will get a better job, but instead they are given a “job” in which they are degraded repeatedly by gross, perverse, and greedy men and other heartless women. The Canadian people and government should be thinking about each of these women and how they could be responsible for saving even one of these girls from entering a place of hell, and only then can we begin to make a difference.

Man’s greatest fear is what he doesn’t know.
“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air.”


Sources:

Darcey. “Canada: Shame on us.” Dust My Broom. 1 March 2006. 15 May 2008. http://dustmybroom.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=859&Itemid=1

Oxman-Martinez, Jacqueline. “A Follow-up Study of Canadian Policy on Human Trafficking: Impacts of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.” McGill University. September
2004. 15 May 2008.
http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:shrB7UfghlwJ:www.im.metropolis.net/research-policy/research_content/doc/oxman-martinez%2520trafic.pdf+study+in+2004+The+immigration+and+refugee+protection+act+human+trafficking+Jacqueline+Oxman-Martinez,+Jill+Hanley,+Fanny+Gomez&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca

Perrin, Benjamin. “Ensuring Effective Implementation of Measures to Protect Victims and Creation of a Canadian Counter.” The Future Group. 21 November 2006. 15 May 2008.
http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:O29dQ9lnVpgJ:tfgwebmaster.web.aplus.net/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/brief_of_the_future_group_to_standing_committee.pdf+human+trafficking+victims+in+canada+do+not+get+medical+aid&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=ca
Raaflaub, Tim. R. Publications List. Library of Parliament. 21 November 2006.
http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/library/PRBpubs/prb0425-e.htm#cdnlaw

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