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2006-02

Assistance for Victims of Human Trafficking

Ottawa, May 11, 2006 — The federal government has adopted new measures that will help victims of human trafficking in Canada, the Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, announced today.

“Helping victims of human trafficking, who are often victims of organized crime, is the compassionate thing to do,” said Minister Solberg. “These new measures give us another tool to support our continuing efforts against this serious crime,” he added.

Working within Canada’s existing legislative framework, immigration officers will issue temporary resident permits (TRPs) for up to 120 days to victims of human trafficking. The permit will enable victims to begin to recover from the impact of this crime. Victims who receive the TRPs will also be exempted from the processing fee, and will be eligible for health-care benefits under the Interim Federal Health program. The new measures have been carefully designed so that only bona fide victims of human trafficking will benefit from them.

“Human trafficking often involves organized crime and the RCMP is committed to working with key partners such as CIC to uncover, report and target traffickers who exploit the most vulnerable of our society,” said Mike Cabana, RCMP Chief Superintendent and Director General of Border Integrity.

“These new measures build on our continuing efforts to address human trafficking”, said Minister Solberg. “We will not stand by idly and allow criminals to profit from victims of human trafficking.” Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act also includes penalties of up to life imprisonment and fines of up to one million dollars for conviction for trafficking in persons.

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For more information (media only):

Lesley Harmer
Director of Communications
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(613) 954-1064
  Melanie Carkner
Media Relations
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(613) 941-7028

Note: Spokespeople for the following organizations are aware of the initiative and are prepared to comment on the announcement:

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
National Media Relations Office
(613) 993-2999

Irena Soltys
Co-chair
Stop the Trafficking Coalition
(416) 806-4469

Shuvaloy Majunder
Executive Director
The Future Group
(403) 608-4428