Conservative MP Joy Smith

Human trafficking bill moves on to Senate

  • May 1, 2012

OTTAWA - A bill that would make it possible for Canada to prosecute human trafficking offenses committed by citizens or permanent residents outside the country has passed in the House of Commons.

Conservative MP Joy Smith's private member's Bill C-310 passed a third reading vote April 27 and has gone on to the Senate.

"I am absolutely delighted with the adoption of Bill C-310 today by the House of Commons and look forward to it being adopted by the Senate in a timely manner," said Smith in a statement. "Bill C-310 will have a significant impact on the anti-human trafficking efforts of Canada here at home as well as abroad. This legislation will place important legal tools into the hands of prosecutors and law enforcement."

Smith's bill would amend the Criminal Code by adding human trafficking offenses to the list of those Canada can prosecute extra-territorially.

"Today, modern-day slavery exists in all corners of our globe and our resolve to eliminate it must only grow stronger," said MP Smith. "It will take concerted efforts across party lines to effectively combat human trafficking in our country as well as abroad. I look forward to working with all members of Parliament to fight this egregious abuse of human rights."

This is Smith's second private member's bill that has successfully passed the House of Commons. Her first established a mandatory minimum sentence for trafficking offences involving children. It was passed into law in 2010.

Smith has spearheaded a national strategy for combatting human trafficking called "Connecting the Dots" that looks at legal as well as social solutions at all levels of government and civil society. The strategy is now being developed by the government. Some of the legal solutions could include changes to Canada's prostitution laws as well as help for trafficked persons so they can rebuild their lives.

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