Missing Jessie Foster & Human Trafficking Information in 2010
Missing Jessie Foster & Human Trafficking Information in 2010
Put together by Jessie's mom Glendene – Released September 10, 2010
There has been so much happening here in Canada with human trafficking and with Jessie's case pretty much now the poster child for human trafficking in our home country.
Today I am concentrating on the most important things have happened so far in 2010, directly regarding what I have been doing in Jessie's name and indirectly regarding human trafficking in Canada, and what is being done here to try to put a stop to it.
I am very proud of all that I have done, and I am very proud that 19 days short of exactly 4 & 1/2 years since Jessie disappeared, human trafficking is no longer in the 'closet'. It is no longer a 3rd world issue, or a mystery TV show. Now, TV shows are loosely basing their episodes on stories heard in the news.
Sincerely, Jessie's mom Glendene.
RCMP & CRIME STOPPERS BLUE BLINDFOLD CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCEMENT
MP JOY SMITH's BLUE BLINDFOLD CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCEMENT
SEVEN HUMAN TRAFFICKING ARTICLES by JEREMY DEUTSCH of K.T.W.
M.A.T.H. MOTHERS AGAINST TRAFFICKING HUMANS
BOOKS OUT or COMING OUT WITH JESSIE's CASE MENTIONED
INTRODUCTION: HUMAN TRAFFICKING – Finally it is not just a 3rd world country or crime television thing anymore. I have become friends and allies with people in Canada, the USA, the UK, Spain, South Africa who are all now more aware of human trafficking than ever before because of Jessie's case and all the work I have been doing in her name.
There has been so much just this year alone:
Ø February 15, 2010 I was honoured to be invited to be a guest speaker at the 19th Annual Women's Memorial March in Vancouver, BC. I was not sure I would be able to make it, due to financial difficulties, but thanks to many generous Jessie supporters all over (from Canada, the USA, Portugal and England) I was able to attend. I was a guest speaker, and during the march I was able to have the glorified honour of drumming. It is a very spiritual thing, and there were several times during the march, that there were several eagles flying high above us. It was amazing, but it was not surprising, To the First Nations People there is nothing surprising about those who have gone before them to be with them at a time like that, too give them strength and love. It was very amazing to me to feel as I did there. While I was there I met some people who were filming a documentary with one of Robert 'Willie' Pickton's victim's daughter, and during their filming, they did a portion on Jessie. Also there was a documentary being filmed called "In the Shadow of the Olympic Flame: A Report from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, the Poorest Neighbourhood in Canada" in which I was able to show Jessie's missing poster and mentioning her case.
Ø March 6, 2010 I was contacted by a woman named Timea Nagy, the founder of a human trafficking organization called Walk-With-Me. Timea was also the victim of human trafficking, but she has long become a survivor of this horrific crime. Timea had heard of Jessie's case the previous October when she was in Calgary. She was there to do a human trafficking training session with the Calgary police and it just so happened that there was a 3-day series that Canoe News was doing about missing Canadian women and Jessie's case was on the front page of the Calgary (AB) Herald newspaper, again. Timea was talking to a police officer and he asked her if she had ever heard of Jessie Foster, the Calgary woman who was a human trafficking victim. Timea had not, but she took the paper and for months after that she could not get Jessie out of her mind. Then she was planning her award ceremony to award people who have worked with victims of human trafficking, trying hard to make a dent in this horrific crime. But she did not have a name for her award and she again thought about Jessie and she called me. Timea wanted to know if she could name the award the Glendene & Jessie Foster Award to honour Jessie as a victim and me as the mother of a human trafficking victim who works to raise awareness. I was so pleased. I had long said that Jessie was going to be the Poster Child for human trafficking in Canada and this was definitely going to help. Jessie is the most well-known human trafficking victim in Western Canada, if not the most well-known human trafficking victim in all of Canada.
Ø March 17 & 19, 2010 were parts one and two of a four-part series in my local Kamloops This Week newspaper called: MODERN-DAY SLAVERY.
Ø March 23, 2010, Canada's only accredited forensic artist and now a dear friend of mine, Diana Trepkov offered to do an age-enhancement drawing of Jessie as a gift from one mother to the other, as she put it. I was thrilled, and when she ended up doing 3 of them, I could not thank her enough. Then another Jessie supporter, a man who had been through his own daughter's disappearance and murder years earlier, someone who had been there for us since we first realised Jessie was missing wanted to pay Diana her fee to do a 4th drawing of Jessie as she would look, 4 years after being a human trafficking victim. After these drawings were complete, he and I worked on a news release to come out on March 29, 2010, the 4th year of Jessie's disappearance.
Ø March 24 & 26, 2010 were parts three and four of a four-part series in my local Kamloops This Week newspaper called: MODERN-DAY SLAVERY.
Ø March 29, 2010 I was in Vancouver, BC on the CTV Canada AM TV show. Diana Trepkov talked to her contact there and they wanted to have her and me on their show at the same time, on March 29, 2010. So I went to Vancouver and Diana went to Toronto and we were on the show 'together' even though we were half-way across the country from each other.
Ø April 15, 2010, again thanks to the generosity of so many others, I was in Toronto, ON for the First Annual Glendene & Jessie Foster Award Ceremony. I was flown there on WestJet thanks to Louis McIvor donating buddy tickets, getting me plane tickets from Kamloops to Toronto for just $70.00 each and I stayed at the Toronto Sandman Signature Hotel for 2 nights and 3 days in their Penthouse Suite (I would have been happy with a bed and a shower, but there was a hot-tub and everything in this mansion) with everything included. Meals, taxes, anything I needed . . . even bottled water, but I did not know that until I checked out and I found out I owed NOTHING! I got to see Jessie's stepsister Alisha and her 3 children and I got to meet the most incredible people who were all being honoured with a Jessie Award. People like Timea herself, she is such a wonderful person and exactly like she was on the phone and in emails and people like the recipients of the Jessie award:
• Armand P. La Barge: Chief of Police York Region
• York Regional Police: Drugs and Vice Unit
• Peel Regional Police: Drugs and Vice Unit
• RCMP: Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre, Ottawa
• RCMP: Immigration and Passport Section, Hamilton-Niagara Regional Detachment
• RCMP: Human Trafficking Coordination Centre, Awareness Coordinator, Toronto, Ontario
• Toronto Police Services: Sex Crimes Unit
• Toronto Police Services: 22 Division
• Edmonton Police: Vice Section, G. John Fiorilli, Edmonton, Alberta
• Channa Guenoun: Canada Border Services Agency
• Crime Stoppers York Region: Sergeant Gary Harvey, Police co-ordinator
• Toronto Police Services: 52 Division, Sergeant Michael Josifovic
• FCJ Refugee Centre: Loly Rico, Co-Director, Toronto, Ontario
• Human Trafficking Coalition Windsor: Shelly Gilbert staff Lawyer, and her team
• Professor Benjamin Perrin & MAYTREE Foundation: Toronto, Ontario
• Salvation Army Branford: Doug Radmore, Front line worker
• Salvation Army Hamilton: Amy Claus, Case worker
• Salvation Army Windsor: Sandor Meszaros, Food Services Supervisor
• HTAP Waterdone, Ontario: Sister Celeste Reinhart, and her dedicated team members
• Sextrade 101, Public Education and Awareness: Natasha Falle, Executive Director
• Canada Fights Human Trafficking: Naomi Baker, Founder
• Herbert H. Carnegie, Future Aces Foundation: Bernice Carnegie, Executive Director, Brook Chambers, Presenter, Educator
• Toronto Sun: Tamara Cherry, reporter, Crime Bureau
• Rogers Television Newmarket: Nancy Coldham, Partner
• CBC National Television: Mark Kelly, and the production team
• Sing Tao Newspapers: Percta Lam, reporter
• Rogers Television, Richmond Hill: Brianne Thom, Videographer- First Local
• YRMG: Joe Fantauzzi, Reporter
• Ric Esther Bienstock: Producer, Director
• Marina Jemenez: Globe and Mail foreign respondent
• Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall: Freelance Writer, Toronto
Private Groups / Citizens
• MP leader Joy Smith: Member of the Parliament, Winnipeg
• Joel Oosterman: Chief of Staff, Office of Joy Smith, MP
• Bernice Carnegie and Brook Chambers: Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation
Each one of these people received the "First Annual Glendene & Jessie Foster Award" for their hard work, but to me, it was even more than that. To me it meant that every one of the recipients would be going home and talking about the award and human trafficking, and during those discussions Jessie Foster would be mentioned.
Ø April 15, 2010 at the "Glendene & Jessie Foster Award Ceremony", I got the honour of being asked by MP Joy Smith, if I would be interested in going to our nation's capital city, Ottawa, Ontario to testify at the Senate hearing to get her Bill C-268 to be passed into law. Which it was, but without needing the testimony of citizens.
Ø May 1, 2010 we started to get responses from some of our local schools for myself, Mark Price from the Kamloops & District Crimes Stoppers and Deb Noel from the Catholic Women's League to do our presentation to educate the students about human trafficking.
Ø June 1, 2010 there was an article in the Flint (Michigan, USA) Journal newspaper about M.A.T.H.: *Canadian mother, Glendene Grant* aims to raise awareness of human trafficking by starting Mothers Against Trafficking Humans.
Ø June 8 & 10, 2010 we did our presentation for the grade 11 Social Studies classes at Valleyview Secondary School.
Ø June 17, 2010, MP Joy Smith's Bill C-268 has finally passed the Senate of Canada. What a day for celebration around our country.
Ø June 22, 2010 we gave the Walk4Justice 2010 a send-off in Kamloops, British Columbia where they started. This year the walk was to Winnipeg, Manitoba. I had contacted MP Joy Smith about the walkers ending in Winnipeg and she organized a BBQ to welcome them and to celebrate the Walk4Justice 2010 achieving its goal. I am so proud to have been part of this. I hosted the walkers at my home on June 21st with tents pitched all over my side yard. We had dinner provided by our local Domino's Pizza. I called them and told them that the walkers were at my home, and since I had won a contest to get a pizza a week for a year, meaning I won 52 pizzas, so I ordered some then (and the rest we used for a Dine 'N Dance fundraiser for Jessie in July). And I am very proud that a young woman who is like a daughter to me (her mom is one of my long-time friends from teen hood), Shona White and her boyfriend Jarrod Nosan, hosted the walkers at their home in Canmore, Alberta. They enjoyed Jarrod's delicious spaghetti dinner.
Ø June 29, 2010 marked an historical event, with Bill C-268 receiving Royal Assent. This bill is an Act to Amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offences involving trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen years). Bill C-268 was signed by Justice Rothstein and read by the Speaker of the Canadian Senate, giving the Bill Royal Assent by written declaration.
Ø July 29, 2010, MP Joy Smith hosted the BBQ for the Walk4Justice when they arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It was held at Birds Hill Park from 12:00 P.M. to 10:30 P.M. They had walked (approximately) 2000 kilometers or 1240 miles. The Walk4Justice 2009 was from Vancouver, British Columbia up the Highway of Tears to Prince Rupert, British Columbia. They walked (approximately) 1230 kilometers or 765 miles! And the first ever walk, the Walk4Justice 2008 was from Vancouver, British Columbia to our nation's capital, Ottawa, Ontario. They walked (approximately) 4700 kilometers or 2900 miles!! The plan for the Walk4Justice 2011 is again to walk to Ottawa again.
Ø August 18, 2010 I was invited by the L.N.I.B. (Lower Nicola Indian Band) to do a presentation on human trafficking prevention for their youth group. Ages 6 to 18 years old. Previously I have only done presentations to high school age students, so I had to change it somewhat to be more suitable for younger kids. This was my first time I did my presentation without Mark from Crime Stoppers and I was very proud of myself. I also got a chance to invite Megan Stevenson from the S.H.O.P. (Social & Health Options for Persons in the sex trade) program, which is within the A.S.K. (Aids Society of Kamloops) to go with me and she got the opportunity to do her own presentation to the group. Prior to this, Megan and I had been talking about a new organization that they want to have a chapter open in Kamloops called C.A.S.E.Y. (Communities Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth).
Ø August 29, 2010 I got an email from a gentleman with M.L.A.P. (Maple Leaf Alberta Projects) about being a guest at their upcoming book launch for Professor Perrin's book on human trafficking in Edmonton on October 23, 2010. They are going to try to arrange to bring me there to be their guest, but since this is also a fundraiser, there is nothing concrete yet.
Ø September 2010, Timea Nagy's book, called "Walk With Me, Memoirs of a Sex Slave Survivor" is being released. Jessie is mentioned in her book.
Ø September 7, 2010, Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews was joined by Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan – St. Paul, Manitoba, for an announcement launching a national human trafficking awareness campaign. The federal department of Public Safety is partnering with the RCMP and the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association to launch the Crime Stoppers “Blue Blindfold” Campaign. The campaign will educate the public on human trafficking and provide tools for Canadians to join the fight against human trafficking (which is something that I have been doing for months with Mark Price and the Kamloops & District Crime Stoppers. An upcoming article actually said the following about our presentation, in his article about this very announcement: "It was the only one of its kind in the country".
Ø September 9, 2010 there was a very good article on the Kamloops This Week website by Jeremy Deutsch about the 'Blue Blindfold Campaign', including his interview with me. This article was in the September 10 hard copy issue.
Ø September 10, 2010 I got a call from one of my local Kamloops Members of Parliament, Cathy McLeod's assistant. She told me Mrs. McLeod was hoping I had time to meet with her next week (of course I have time). We are meeting at 10 A.M. on Thursday, September 16, 2010.
Ø October 5, 2010, Professor Benjamin Perrin's book, called "Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking" will be released. Jessie is mentioned in his book.
Ø October 18, 2010 is Professor Benjamin Perrin's book launch in Vancouver, British Columbia. It will be held at U.B.C. (University British Columbia) where he is an assistant professor of law.
Ø October 19, 2010 will be my 53rd birthday and my 5th without knowing where my daughter is, or even if she is alive. All I do know is that Jessie was beaten and forced to work for an escort agency and when she tried to leave she disappeared. My daughter is a human trafficking victim and I want, one day, to have a real HAPPY BIRTHDAY – I want to get answers to my haunting question, WHERE IS JESSIE? On May 27, 2011 it will be Jessie's champagne birthday. She will be 27 on the 27th. I hope to get some answers, any answers, by then.
Ø October 22, 2010 is Professor Benjamin Perrin's book launch in Calgary, Alberta. (Calgary is where Jessie was born, and though my children and I moved to Kamloops, British Columbia when she was just 3 years old, Jessie did move back to Calgary when she was 16 years old and in grade 11. Jessie graduated from high school in Calgary in 2002. It was in Calgary that Jessie met the person who took her to the USA, which was the beginning of the end of life as the Grant/Foster/Hoflin families had known it, and the beginning of the nightmare of our lives.)
Ø October 23, 2010 is Professor Benjamin Perrin's book launch in Edmonton, Alberta, the once to which I am invited to be the guest of M.L.A.P. (Maple Leaf Alberta Projects).
RCMP and CRIME STOPPERS BLUE BLINDFOLD CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCEMENT
The following content taken was from the website for the C.C.S.A. (Canadian Crime Stoppers Association): http://www.canadiancrimestoppers.org/?content/human_trafficking.html
CCSA Homepage: http://www.canadiancrimestoppers.org/?content/home.html
Human trafficking is a global and multi-faceted phenomenon. It occurs across and within national borders. Its defining feature is the illegal exploitation of women, men and children. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has raised the profile about human trafficking throughout the world and has encouraged all nations to take appropriate actions to help stop such illegal and cruel activity.
Here in Canada, as you will come to realize, we do have human trafficking occurring in large numbers all across the country. A problem we all face right now is a general lack of knowledge about the issue of human trafficking and its presence in our communities. We hope to be able to change that.
The C.C.S.A. (Canadian Crime Stoppers Association) was very pleased to be approved recently by Public Safety Canada to participate in a project which will extend the ability of Crime Stoppers programs across the country and help increase awareness of this growing issue. The project will encourage provision of information through the tip taking network which will facilitate law enforcement response to any identified human trafficking activity.
Public Safety Canada is funding the development of posters, pamphlets and presentations which will be provided to every Crime Stopper program for use in raising awareness in the communities we serve. Crime Stoppers in Canada currently serves over 4000 communities through its 107 programs. If we can raise awareness nationally about this important issue we should be able to decrease, if not eventually eliminate, this illegal activity.
CCSA will be introducing the media materials to you over the next few months and asking for your assistance in helping raise overall awareness in Canada about the issue of human trafficking. It is our hope that local programs will conduct community meetings which will help raise understanding about human trafficking and Crime Stoppers involvement in this growing problem. Full details will be included in the packages.
The following content taken was from the website of the R.C.M.P (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Human Trafficking National Coordination Center: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ht-tp/index-eng.htm
The R.C.M.P (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) Homepage: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/index-eng.htm
The RCMP has established a Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre (HTNCC) within the Immigration and Passport Branch at Headquarters in Ottawa. The Centre works in partnership with domestic and international agencies to develop an extensive network of partnerships, monitors investigations from a national perspective, facilitates the central processing of requests from international law enforcement agencies, provides analytical services and intelligence feedback to domestic law enforcement, and contributes to international data banks.
The following 'Tories target human trafficking in campaign' was taken from the CBC News website: http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/09/07/toews-human-smuggling-tamil-ship.html
The federal government is partnering with Crime Stoppers to enlist the Canadian public's help in detecting and reporting signs of potential human trafficking.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says law enforcement officials need Canadians to be aware of the signs of human trafficking. (CBC)The announcement Tuesday by Public Safety Minister Vic Toews comes in the wake of last month's arrival of the MK Sun Sea, a ship carrying hundreds of Tamil migrants, in British Columbia.
Toews said that by exposing the reality of the "disturbing" crime of human trafficking, the "Blue Blindfold" campaign will give Canadians a better understanding of how to detect it and report suspicious activity.
While Toews acknowledged the Sun Sea was a case of human smuggling, not trafficking, he noted that smuggling sometimes turns to trafficking if those being transported are unable to make payment.
While human smuggling involves the illegal movement of people across international borders for payment, trafficking includes an additional element of exploitation — usually in the form of forced labour, prostitution and other forms of servitude — and usually involves threats or the use of force.
Toews said most human trafficking victims are women and children from Asia, who are often forced into the sex trade.
"Most are women and children and their cases often go unnoticed and unreported due to threats from offenders, language barriers or mistrust of authorities," he said.
CBC News has learned that Toews is also expected to present Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet with a list of legal options later this week on how to target human smugglers.
The Conservative government has been floating the idea of new laws since the arrival of the Sun Sea in Victoria on Aug. 12. All 492 people on board have requested refugee status in Canada.
Toews said there was "certainly a possibility" of other vessels from Sri Lanka coming to Canada and reiterated investigators' suspicion that the Sun Sea was a "test ship" to gauge the Canadian government's response.
Kenney calls for minimum sentences for smugglers
Migrants are escorted from the MV Sun Sea after the vessel arrived at CFB Esquimalt in British Columbia last month. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)Meanwhile, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Parliament needs to consider minimum jail sentences for human smugglers to send a message to those who seek profit through exploiting desperate migrants.
Kenney made the comments on Monday during a meeting with other European leaders in Paris on the issue of human smuggling.
Critics and some legal experts have questioned what, if anything, the government can do to prevent future migrant ships from arriving in Canada.
As a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees, Canada is obliged not to send migrants who have reached Canada's territorial waters back to their own country if they face persecution there.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 1985 that all people in Canada were protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The ruling gives asylum-seekers who enter Canadian territory the legal right to a refugee status hearing before facing potential removal from the country, provided they are not deemed a threat to public safety.
Letters from representatives of those who were on the ship claim the ethnic Tamil population in Sri Lanka still faces harsh treatment since the end of the bloody, decades-long civil war between government forces and separatist Tamil rebels.
The Sri Lankan government has steadfastly denied such claims and insists the country is at peace since last year's defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as the Tamil Tigers.
The Tamil Tigers were outlawed in Canada as a terrorist group in 2006 for their use of child soldiers and suicide bombers during the country's 25-year civil war, which killed an estimated 70,000 people.
With files from The Canadian Press
Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/09/07/toews-human-smuggling-tamil-ship.html#ixzz0z06a2gcz
The following 'Feds ask for public's help with human trafficking by Brian Lilley, Parliament Bureau' is from the CNews website: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2010/09/07/15269211.html
OTTAWA — If you frequent escort services, massage parlours or strip clubs, the RCMP and the federal government want you to know you may be supporting a crime: human trafficking.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews joined the RCMP and Crime Stoppers Canada to announce simultaneous public awareness campaigns to educate the public on the issue of human trafficking.
"Today's announcement seeks to engage all Canadians in recognizing and reporting when exploitation due to human trafficking is going on around them,” Toews said.
“Human trafficking is an insidious form of modern-day slavery in our communities,” said Benjamin Perrin. Perrin, a law professor at the University of British Columbia and author of the soon-to-be published Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking.
“Only when many more Canadians learn about the ruthlessness of traffickers and the help that victims need can we confront this hidden national tragedy,” said Perrin.
Whether they want to or not, Canadians are about to learn more about human trafficking.
The RCMP Human Trafficking National Co-ordination Centre has launched an awareness campaign called “I'm not for sale.” The campaign will provide resources to police services and local charities working to end human trafficking.
Crime Stoppers is launching the , which will inform the public about how to identify and report cases of possible human trafficking.
“Awareness is key in this type of activity,” said RCMP deputy commissioner Raf Souccar. Bringing awareness to the public and allowing them to provide tips anonymously through Crime Stoppers will likely result in more charges, Souccar said.
NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow said she supports the government's push for a public awareness campaign, even if it's late. Chow points out that Britain launched its own Blue Blindfold campaign in 2007 and claims it has been a success.
Still Chow said more needs to be done for the victims of trafficking.
“At the end of the day, publicity will not convict the criminal,” said Chow. “Publicity will expose the criminal but they will continue with their crime until they are caught.”
Chow said victims must be given a comprehensive support system including a safe place to stay if they speak out against their traffickers. Victims should also be allowed to stay in Canada if they would be in danger of physical harm or of being retrafficked if returned home.
In June, Parliament passed private member's bill C-268. Initiated by Conservative MP Joy Smith, the bill altered the Criminal Code to add a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for anyone who was found guilty of trafficking in minors.
For more information:
MP JOY SMITH's BLUE BLINDFOLD CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCEMENT
The email below is one I got from MP Joy Smith's office explaining it best.
There are also three websites listed there that go into greater detail about it.
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 1:16 PM
Subject: MP Joy Smith welcomes launch of national human trafficking awareness campaign
Office of Joy Smith, M.P. Kildonan-St. Paul
Bureau de Joy Smith, députée Kildonan-St. Paul
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2010 News Release
MP Joy Smith welcomes launch of national human trafficking awareness campaign
Winnipeg, MB: Today, Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan – St. Paul joined Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to announce the launch of a national human trafficking awareness campaign.
“As a former educator, I have always advocated education and awareness as our greatest weapons against human trafficking and child exploitation,” said MP Joy Smith. “Equipping Canadians to recognize and report human trafficking is essential to ending this modern day form of slavery.”
The federal department of Public Safety will partner with the RCMP and the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association to launch the Crime Stoppers “Blue Blindfold” Campaign. The campaign will educate the public on human trafficking and provide tools for Canadians to join the fight against human trafficking.
“I commend our government for taking this important step forward to combat trafficking in persons,” said MP Joy Smith. “Human trafficking is an egregious form of exploitation that impacts all corners of our nation. By engaging all Canadians, we can effectively fight human trafficking within our borders and protect our most vulnerable citizens.”
The RCMP Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre (HTNCC) has been working with Crime Stoppers to train Crime Stoppers members and staff in the call center receiving tips from the national human trafficking tip line. The HTNCC has also produced a human trafficking tool kit for law enforcement, non-governmental organizations and the Canadian public.
MP Joy Smith is one of Canada's leading human trafficking abolitionists and most recently succeeded in amending Canada's Criminal Code to include an offence of trafficking in minors. Bill C-268 provides a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment for anyone convicted of trafficking a minor in Canada and a minimum of six years imprisonment for cases with aggravating factors. First introduced on January 29, 2009, by MP Joy Smith, Bill C-268 has attracted broad national support and received Royal Assent on June 29, 2010.
For information on MP Joy Smith's work on human trafficking, please visit: http://www.joysmith.ca
For information on the RCMP's Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre, please visit the website: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ht-tp/index-eng.htm
For information about the Blue Blindfold Campaign, please visit: http://www.canadiancrimestoppers.org/?content/human_trafficking.html
Crime Stoppers national human trafficking tip line is 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
For further information please contact:
Joel Oosterman, Chief of Staff
Office of Joy Smith, MP
Phone: (613) 220-6795
SEVEN HUMAN TRAFFICKING ARTICLES by JEREMY DEUTSCH of K.T.W.
Many of you already know that I have been volunteering my time with my local Kamloops & District Crime Stoppers doing human trafficking education presentations in high schools in my area. One of our local newspapers, Kamloops This Week, has a reporter, Jeremy Deutsch, who has personally attended one of my presentations so he can also help bring human trafficking awareness. He has written several articles, I am posting them below:
In March 2010, Kamloops This Week published a four-part series on human trafficking, written by staff reporter Jeremy Deustch. What follows is the complete series of Modern-Day Slavery: The four-part KTW series on human smuggling in its entirety by Jeremy Deutsch. Since then Jeremy has written several articles about Jessie's case and human trafficking.
March 17, 2010 – Modern-Day Slavery PART I: A SURVIVOR'S TALE FROM THE MEAN STREETS
March 19, 2010 – Modern-Day Slavery PART II: IT'S HAPPENING IN KAMLOOPS
March 24, 2010 – Modern-Day Slavery PART III: OPENING INNOCENT EYES
March 26, 2010 – Modern-Day Slavery PART IV: A MOTHER'S AGONIZING ODYSSEY
April 22, 2010 – CITY MOM TO GIVE INPUT ON HUMAN-TRAFFICKING BILL
June 15, 2010 – VALLEYVIEW STUDENTS GET 'REALITY CHECK' ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING
September 09, 2010 – OTTAWA HELPS FIGHT TRAFFICKING
March 17, 2010 by Jeremy Deutsch, Kamloops This Week
It was a frightening proposition Heather Cameron just can't shake from her mind.
On one of the many nights she would spend on the streets of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, a familiar john offered her $500 to lure a 14-year-old girl to join the pair for sex.
Money is always tempting to a drug addict, but Cameron couldn't do it.
“I remember that scaring me,” she told KTW.
She took a pass on the proposal.
It was an ironic situation for the Kamloops resident to find herself in as Cameron was a victim of a form of human trafficking — even if she couldn't identify her plight at the time.
While experts tend to define human trafficking as an individual who either recruits, transports or controls someone for the purpose of exploitation, it's a rather sterile definition to a teenager caught up in a world of addiction and prostitution.
Cameron's journey began long before those two words would enter this country's criminal lexicon.
The blonde-haired mother of two grew up in an upper middle-class home in Kamloops.
She attended Aberdeen elementary and Sahali secondary schools.
On the outside, Cameron was the girl next door.
Inside, however, she struggled with self-esteem issues throughout her childhood and what she calls “the disease of addiction.”
She began her dark behaviour by cutting herself.
When Cameron was 13, she was placed in a psychiatric ward and put on medication, but she progressed to an eating disorder and heavy drinking.
Her family did the best they could, but no one could figure out was wrong with her.
Once she got a taste of hard drugs as a teen, Cameron was hooked.
At the age of 15, she tried crack for the first time with a boyfriend several years older.
The pair then befriended a drug dealer in town who introduced her to heroin.
That's when her drug use spiralled out of control.
“Looking back now, even though I wasn't prostituting, it's sexual favours for drugs is how it started,” Cameron said.
At 18, the former A-student married a man who made her work the streets of Vancouver as a prostitute.
Cameron said she had no idea what she was getting into.
“When you hear human trafficking, you think it will be upfront or you'll know the warning signals,” she said.
“It's a slow, progressive, subtle process. All of the sudden, you're in it and you're trapped.
“I remember looking around and thinking, 'How did I get here? This is insane. '”
She naively thought the drug dealers were being nice, but she was never in control.
“The dealers will give you dope if you work right after,” she said.
At first, Cameron's husband convinced her she didn't have to sleep with the men. She just had to bring them back to their apartment so they could get the cash to buy drugs.
But, as her habit progressed, she became fully entrenched in the lifestyle.
After the short-lived marriage, she met the father of her soon-to-be first child and moved to the poorest neighbourhood in Canada — right on the corner of Main and Hastings streets in Vancouver.
“At that point, it's very normal down there. It's not like anyone calls anyone their pimp. It's very normal that you need protection,” she said.
She eventually became pregnant with her first daughter, finding out in a less than glamorous way — while languishing in jail.
Cameron tried to go to detox several times, but it only fuelled her boyfriend' anger.
“It's scary to leave,” she said.
“The scariest thing for me ever was to leave that five-block radius.”
But, 30 days before her due date and fearing the loss of her unborn child, Cameron summoned the courage to make a call.
“I didn't want to lose that kid, like so many other women down there,” Cameron said.
She phoned her mom.
“Come get me tomorrow,” she desperately pleaded with her mother.
It would be the last night Cameron would spend on the streets of Vancouver.
The next day, her family picked her up and drove her home.
Now 27, Cameron runs Mothers For Recovery.
As part of the Kamloops Family Resource Society, the grassroots agency lends support to mothers or pregnant women who are trying to break their addiction — the same situation Cameron was in just a few years earlier.
But the road back to reclaiming her life wasn't as easy as the three-hour drive up the Coquihalla Highway.
Upon her return to Kamloops in 2004, Cameron stayed off drugs for five months, until she relapsed.
She looked for services in counselling to help her leave the sex trade, but felt there wasn't enough being offered to keep her clean.
After three more years on the streets of Kamloops, it finally clicked for Cameron and she got clean.
But it was an effort she describes as a “long process.”
She credits her sobriety to having other female friends who were fighting the same, horrible battle.
“I never had that before, like friends,” Cameron said.
“I was very isolated. It was me and him in our apartment and that's what my world revolved around,” she said.
Years later, Cameron remains haunted by her time on the streets.
“That's the thing that screws my head the most — the flashbacks around the sex trade —
“Those memories and traumas.”
Part II: IT`S HAPPENING IN KAMLOOPS
March 19, 2010 by Jeremy Deutsch, Kamloops This Week
It could easily begin with a smile or a Facebook poke.
It might then progress to a gift or a secret rendezvous.
Often, a vulnerable teenage girl is the target.
She'll be showered with gifts and given access to any drug imaginable. Without even suspecting a thing, the teen is being groomed for a life of prostitution.
They are common tactics used to lure young Canadian girls from their homes into a life of modern-day slavery.
According to one leading expert on the issue of domestic human trafficking, it's happening right here in Kamloops.
Benjamin Perrin, an assistant professor at the UBC faculty of law, has studied human trafficking for several years and has just completed a two-year study on Canada's involvement in the issue.
His research has found that, not only do trafficking rings operate in larger cities, but they're active in smaller communities — recruiting young women from towns in the Interior of B.C.
In many cases, girls are lured to cities like Vancouver or across the border by lavish promises from a “boyfriend”.
They'll offer drugs or gifts, such as a free airline ticket to a vacation destination.
But, in the end, the victim — often through the threat of violence — ends up being sold for sex.
“Kamloops has come up in our research as an area where traffickers have engaged in efforts to recruit Canadian victims,” Perrin told KTW.
Social-media websites like Facebook and MySpace have made it easier for traffickers to operate across vast geographical areas with the push of a button.
One of the highest-profile suspected cases of human trafficking in Western Canada is that of Jessie Foster.
The Kamloops woman went missing in the spring of 2006 after moving to Las Vegas with a boyfriend.
If getting caught up in human trafficking appears easy, getting out is a different story.
The underground nature of the crime makes it difficult for law enforcement to detect it within a community.
According to Perrin, the traffickers — most of them men — have ties to violent street gangs.
The federal government made human smuggling a criminal-code offence in 2005, but Perrin argued the province has been slow in prosecuting human traffickers.
While Perrin noted 30 active RCMP files of trafficking, not a single person has been convicted of the crime in B.C.
The province has also created an office to combat trafficking — but the B.C. Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP) has six staff members whose primary focus is on Victoria and Vancouver.
Perrin suggested there is little offered for Canadian victims of trafficking in the way of counselling, shelter or exit programs from life in the sex trade.
There is also little help for communities to defend against the growing scourge.
“We don't see the same level of support for victims of human trafficking in our country as we witness in other jurisdictions,” Perrin said.
Instead, he said, victims are often left to fend for themselves once they are identified and rescued.
But the head of OCTIP said the agency's intention is to pull together in a variety of communities the same sort of network of services it has on the Coast.
“Not building anything new, but linking and training the various community partners and agencies that would be involved,” Robin Pike, the executive director of OCTIP, told KTW.
The groups would include social agencies, child-protection workers and law enforcement.
Besides providing education and awareness programs, OCTIP works with the police when it encounters a situation of human trafficking.
Pike noted the agency has been to Kamloops to bring public awareness to the issue, but it hasn't been asked to help specifically on any cases in Kamloops.
Pike couldn't say just how large a problem domestic human trafficking has become.
“We just know there is a fair amount of movement of women,” she said, noting the agency has been involved in 50 different cases in the last year.
OCTIP hopes to start a greater public-awareness campaign this year. Pike said the first step is to help communities understand what human trafficking looks like.
If human trafficking is happening in Kamloops, it hasn't come to the attention of the local RCMP.
Kamloops Mounties said they have yet to deal with a single trafficking file, nor do they have members set aside to deal with any cases.
Complaints of human trafficking are typically dealt with out of RCMP offices in Vancouver.
However, if there was an incident reported, RCMP Const. Pat Nagy said, police would treat it like any other file, with the seriousness of the complaint determining where on the investigative ladder it would fall.
MANY CITY MINORS 'OWNED' BY GANGS
Experts on human trafficking say there isn't enough being done to help women once they get out of the sex trade.
It was the same helpless feeling that drove Kamloops' Heather Cameron, a former prostitute, to create Mothers For Recovery.
The grassroots agency lends support to mothers or pregnant women who are trying break their addiction.
Cameron spent years on streets of Vancouver before finally getting free in 2004 (her story was featured in the March 17 edition of KTW and can be read online at http://www.kamloopsthisweek.com).
But, when she returned to Kamloops, she had trouble staying clean and out of the lifestyle.
Cameron believes part of the problem is the general attitude to the local sex-trade industry.
“It's such a hidden thing, especially behind closed doors in Kamloops,” she said.
Cameron knows just how much of a problem the lure of prostitution is in the city. When she began her agency in 2007, she surveyed 30 mothers and found 17 were involved in the sex trade.
The AIDS Society of Kamloops' SHOP (Social and Health Options for Persons in the Sex Trade program) has 94 open sex-trade client files.
An open file refers to someone who has had contact with SHOP in the past year.
That's mostly at street level and doesn't include escort agencies and massage parlours.
Heidi Starr, the SHOP co-ordinator, said the number of sex-trade workers in Kamloops is disproportionate for the size of the city.
She contends many of the minors involved in prostitution are owned by local gangs, often caught up in the lifestyle after being lured by a supposed “boyfriend” and a promise of drugs.
Starr said communities like Kamloops are popular recruiting grounds for human traffickers because there is the promise of going to bigger cities, like Vancouver.
After spending years in the trade, Cameron has some well-earned advice for teens who may find themselves in her shoes.
“Learn to listen to your own intuition,” she said. “If I look back, I know that feeling in my tummy told me something was wrong and I never listened to it.
“I got to the point where I could block it out.”
In addition, Cameron said it is crucial that young girls find women to look up to and confide in. Though it might not be a parent, Cameron said it can be someone who is safe and confidential.
TOO LONG, CONTINUED: