The Hon. Bill Blair
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The Hon. Maryam Monsef
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
We are very concerned to hear that a number of programs across Canada that help women and girls escape paid sexual exploitation and sex trafficking will no longer receive funding from the federal government. We understand that several successful federally-funded anti-trafficking programs that have helped thousands of women and girls are being forced to close as a result. The loss of these essential programs will have a devastating impact on victims of exploitation and sex trafficking.
As the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking 2019-2024 notes, Canada has been at the forefront of taking action to address human trafficking both domestically and abroad. We have supported the significant steps that the Government of Canada has already taken to address the complex and highly gendered crime of human trafficking.
We were particularly pleased to see the National Strategy identified a key activity of:
“Providing increased funding for community-led empowerment programs to help address some of the root causes of human trafficking as well as harms experienced by victims and survivors. Organizations that provide holistic, trauma-informed short-term and long-term services to help survivors regain their independence, reintegrate into their communities, and begin their healing and recovery process would be encouraged to apply.”
But eliminating funding to experienced and successful programs seems counter to the commitments in the Strategy to respond to the critical needs of victims and survivors, such as the need for increased supports and services to protect and rehabilitate victims and survivors.
Could you please clarify whether it is the case that the federal Measures to Address Prostitution Initiative (MAPI) Fund will not be renewed? How will the National Strategy’s funding investment for helping victims and survivors be allocated?
EFC Director of Public Policy
Author: Julia Beazley