Human Rights, Trafficking, Canada, International Human Rights Law, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Palermo Protocol, Border Control Measures
This paper will present the argument that Canada’s rhetoric of protecting the human rights of trafficking victims is at odds with its practice. Trafficking victims are treated essentially the same as any other irregular migrant, and the specter of trafficking is invoked to justify acts which arguably violate Canada’s international human rights obligations. This paper will offer an overview of what little information is available regarding the extent of trafficking in Canada, and then will conduct a close examination of the Canadian approach to trafficking and its victims. In addition to considering the logic and consequences of the Canadian strategy for trafficking victims, Canada’s practices are also considered in light of its obligations pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (hereinafter “Palermo Protocol”). This paper will close with a brief look at how Canadian border control measures may increase the likelihood that asylum seekers will be forced to put themselves into the hands of smugglers and traffickers if they wish to bring a claim for protection in Canada.
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Constance MacIntosh, "Assessing Human Trafficking in Canada Flawed Strategies and the Rhetoric of Human Rights" (2006) 1 St Thomas Intercultural Human Rights L Rev 407.