Social inclusion of migrant workers critical to preventing human trafficking, says OSCE Special Representative on visit to Canada
(OSCE, Toronto) - The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, emphasized prevention as a strategic area of anti-trafficking action during a visit to Canada that concluded today.
"We can learn from the Canadian model, which is historically inspired by the aim of social inclusion of migrant workers. This remains the best way to reduce social vulnerabilities and therefore prevent trafficking for labour exploitation," said Giammarinaro.
Giammarinaro met Canada's Deputy Minister for Citizenship and Immigration, Neil Yeates, yesterday to discuss the ongoing efforts of the Government of Canada to prevent and combat human trafficking.
"The Government of Canada condemns trafficking in persons and is working vigorously to address this serious crime," said Yeates. "CIC is committed to continuing to work with all its partners in support of the Government's focus on prevention, protection, prosecutions and building partnerships. My meeting with Dr. Maria Grazia Giammarinaro of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe provided an opportunity to share information on how common challenges can be confronted."
"I commend the Canadian regulation on residence permits, which does not make the residence status of trafficking victims conditional on their co-operation in criminal proceedings," said Giammarinaro. "Canada can build on its existing good practice and enhance concerted institutional and civil society action, based on a combination of an effective criminal justice response and preventive and protective measures, regarding both domestic and transnational trafficking."
Giammarinaro, who emphasized non-governmental and civil society organizations as crucial partners in the fight against trafficking, concluded her visit today in Toronto with meetings with representatives of NGOs including World Vision, Walk with me and Save the Children. Earlier in the week in Ottawa, she also met with PACT-Ottawa, the Ottawa Coalition to End Human Trafficking and the Native Women's Association of Canada.
During her visit she met Member of Parliament Joy Smith, and key stakeholders in government, including the Intergovernmental Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, the Department of Justice, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, the Human Trafficking National Co-ordination Centre of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Canada Border Services Agency, and Ontario Victim Services. She also met Senator Consiglio di Nino, the Head of the Canadian Delegation to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
She delivered a keynote address at a conference on the "Globalization of Crime: Criminal Justice Responses" in Ottawa, organized by the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy and the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law.