Saturday, November 14, 2009

Human Trafficking

Citizenship and Immigration Canada* helps victims of trafficking* by securing their immigration status with a special Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)*. A TRP gives legal immigration status in Canada and may be issued for up to 180 days and can be re-issued depending on the person’s situation.

Victims of trafficking who receive a TRP are eligible for healthcare benefits and trauma counseling and may also apply for a work permit. Victims of trafficking are not required to testify against their trafficker to gain temporary or permanent residential status.

There is no fee for the initial TRP or a work permit for victims of trafficking. For more information on Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) www.cic.gc.ca or call CIC toll-free at 1-888-242-2100 (only within Canada) to find the closest CIC office.

The fight against human trafficking is extremely important but has also been used to oppress adult consensual sex workers. The anti sex work groups who promote the idea that all sex work is inherently violent and exploitative are well funded and have used the fight against human trafficking as a way to further their goal of abolishing prostitution. This has confused the issue and increased policing of sex worker communities.

Sex workers, sex industry business owners and sex industry consumers do not support the exploitation of any person in our industry and hope to appeal to everyone to report exploitation should you witness it.

It is our hope that consensual sex work will be recognized as separate from human trafficking so that police resources may be used more efficiently to combat exploitation in our industry. Broad enforcement actions which target the whole industry as exploitative waste precious resources which would be better used in targeted enforcement against actual traffickers and exploiters.

People can also report human trafficking should you witness it via Crime Stoppers- 1-800-222-8477 which is anonymous to use. It can be difficult for our clients who are criminalized to feel safe when reporting  so anonymously through crime stoppers offers a safe way to report. We hope that sex workers and their clients will report exploitation of any kind and demonstrate that we as a community do care about victims of human trafficking and that we are the best resource to combat this crime in the sex industry.

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