Seeking Justice, Rescuing the Enslaved

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Seeking Justice, Rescuing the Enslaved: Recommendations for a National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking


Canada‘s recognition of human trafficking as a reality within its own borders is still relatively young, with the first human trafficking conviction on record occurring in 2008. As reported in an April 2009 Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) report on human trafficking, Canada has historically been a leader in responding to the injustices of slavery, dating as far back as 1793, when it was the first jurisdiction in the British Empire to limit slavery.2 Yet it is no longer possible to ignore the fact that the enslavement of women, men and children – though it may look somewhat different – continues today.  Human trafficking has been touted as 'modern day slavery', and is a practice that is, unfortunately, alive and well right here in Canada, as well as in other countries around the world. And so, we find ourselves in a time where, once again, Canada is called upon to be a leader in its response, in order to ensure that victims of trafficking find freedom and experience justice.

A central message of the Bible is for God‘s people to be compassionate, because God has been compassionate to them. In the Old Testament, this is evident in the call to care for the poor, the widow and the orphan. In the New Testament, Jesus calls his followers to love our neighbours as ourselves. Our belief that God has created all people in His image, and loves each person, compels us both to announce and to guard the fundamental dignity of each human being. We understand that all people should be treated as creatures with inherent worth, not as objects for another‘s use or gratification. We are also called to seek freedom for those who are held captive, to fight oppression and to do justice.  It is from this perspective that we engage on an issue that impacts our neighbours who are victims of human trafficking and in need of defending, empowerment, protection and compassionate support to find health and freedom from their circumstances.

This report aims to address the realities of human trafficking, create additional awareness of the occurrence of human trafficking in Canada and internationally, and from this framework, give recommendations to the Government of Canada for the development of a national strategy to combat human trafficking.

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