Understanding Canadian Responses to Human Trafficking: A comparison of local community and provincial models

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Byrne, Megan
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University of Guelph

In November of 2000, Canada proclaimed its commitment to prevent, suppress and punish those involved in the trafficking of persons. This research focuses on Canada-based inter-agency anti-trafficking coalitions who focus on responding to human trafficking. Data was collected in the form of a participant-observation study at a three-day conference held in South-western Ontario during the summer of 2015, where seven presentations were provided from four Ontario community coalitions and three provincial approaches from Western Canada regarding their approach to respond to human trafficking. A thematic analysis was conducted to examine each coalition’s approach in responding to human trafficking, with a particular focus on their work against sex trafficking. The secondary goal of this analysis was to compare the approaches used at the community versus provincial levels in Canada. The findings of this research demonstrate that through valued partnerships, Ontario community coalitions work to protect trafficking victims, prevent further instances of trafficking and prosecute traffickers. Lastly, this research demonstrated that community coalitions and provincial models are largely complimentary when responding to human trafficking. In addition to these findings, this research provides a conceptual framework for evaluating community and provincial anti-trafficking approaches to respond to human trafficking.

human trafficking, Canada