CWL takes aim at human trafficking

  • August 25, 2008

{mosimage}The Catholic Women’s League of Canada (CWL) adopted a resolution this month to “urge the federal government to take action to prevent human trafficking at the 2010 Olympics.”

The resolution was made at the CWL’s 88th annual national convention in Winnipeg Aug. 10-13. The convention drew more than 750 delegates, representing nearly 98,000 women from across Canada.

With the Winter Olympics to take place in British Columbia less than two years from now, time is ticking for concrete measures for prevention of human trafficking, said Marianna Caldwell, the B.C. and Yukon provincial CWL president. She said the federal government needs to stop human trafficking at the borders.

“It is imperative that everyone take action on this important issue by writing letters to government officials urging them to make immediate concerted efforts to prevent human trafficking, particularly in light of the 2010 Olympics,” Caldwell told The Catholic Register.

The CWL, using research from a report by the non-governmental organization The Future Group, titled Faster, Higher, Stronger: Preventing Human Trafficking at the 2010 Olympics, stated in the resolution that there is a “correlation between international sporting events and an increase in human trafficking by as much as 95 per cent.” For this reason, the resolution, which calls for implementation of the recommendations in the report, is extremely relevant, Caldwell said.

“Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business — just google ‘human trafficking’ and check out the extent of this horror on the Internet,” she said.

The recommendations of The Future Group report include:

  • deterring traffickers through public awareness campaigns;
  • deterring commercial sex users through law enforcement response;
  • identifying victims in transit through border controls; and
  • protecting trafficked persons by arranging for housing and other assistance.

Other resolutions adopted by the CWL’s national council dealt with restrictions on the sale of products containing Triclosan, toxic substances in household products, accurate food labelling, transportation tax credit for rural post-secondary students and revision of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The CWL is a member association of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations. Its North American Regional Conference drew nearly 350 attendees to Winnipeg Aug. 8-10.

In a press release, CWL national president Lorette Noble said there was a “flow of themes between the national and international organizations and a unity of resolve to be heard at the national level and at every level of government.”

Both organizations advocate for protection of the world’s marginalized — victims of oppression, war, hunger and abuse.

The next national Catholic Women’s League convention will take place in St. John’s, Nfld., Aug. 9-12, 2009.

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