South Peace News
One of Peace River – Westlock MP Arnold Viersen’s passions is his fight against human trafficking.
Nov. 29, he introduced Bill C-308, The National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking Act, in the House of Commons.
In a news release, Viersen calls it “ground-breaking legislation” that strengthens Canada’s fight to end human trafficking by requiring the Government of Canada to maintain a national strategy to combat the issue. The legislation also sets out minimum measures to be included. The Bill also requires the government to regularly review the strategy, consult with survivors and table annual progress reports in Parliament.
“Human trafficking is profitable, its brutal and its only growing in Canada,” says Viersen.
“Yet victims, survivors, and the frontline agencies that serve them continue to face challenges and barriers,” he adds.
“This Bill will ensure that Canada undertakes a long-term approach to ending human trafficking that centres (on) the voices of survivors, provides robust supports, puts more traffickers in jail and empowers Canadians to tackle this crime in their own communities. Canada must take a zero- tolerance approach to human trafficking.”
Viersen serves as co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.
Bill C-308 has the support of survivors, anti-human trafficking organizations and frontline service providers including Timea’s Cause, the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, the Joy Smith Foundation, BridgeNorth, Next Step Ministries, and the Allard School of Law’s International Justice and Human Rights Clinic.
“Creating the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking was a fantastic first step, but it’s time for action and time to close some serious gaps in the system,” says Timea Nagy, CEO and founder of Timea’s Cause.
“Having a strategy just to have it, to say we have it, it’s not enough,” she adds. “It is a work in progress and we should continue our efforts to make it as applicable and useful and effective as possible for the sake of victims and our society.”
“A national strategy can help coordinate our collective efforts toward making resources more available to victim and survivors and holding traffickers accountable for their devastating actions,” says Julia Drydyk, executive director, The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking.
“This Bill contributes toward our shared goal of ending this gross form of exploitation. . .”