2010 Winter Games Analysis on Human Trafficking AUGUST 2013 RDIMS #: 825638

2010 Winter Games Analysis on Human Trafficking  AUGUST 2013 RDIMS #: 825638
2010 Winter Games Analysis on Human Trafficking
AUGUST 2013
RDIMS #: 825638
2010 Winter Games Analysis
on Human Trafficking
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women Canada
prepared for
Law Enforcement and Policing Branch
Public Safety Canada
The views expressed herein are those of the author
and do not necessarily reflect those of
Public Safety Canada or the Government of Canada;
nor do they constitute legal advice.
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2013
Cat. No.: PS14-18/2013E-PDF
ISBN No.: 978-1-100-22556-2
Table of Contents
GAATW Canada Research Team
Executive Summary
I. Introduction
1
II. Research Methodology
2
III. Legal and Policy Frameworks
4
Legal Definitions
The 4 P’s: Prosecution, Prevention, Protection, and Partnerships
IV. International Mega Sporting Events and Human Trafficking
9
2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games
2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany
2008 UEFA Championship in Switzerland/Austria
Key Recommendations
V. Canadian and British Columbia Context: Pre-Olympic
Counter-Trafficking Frameworks
17
Federal Level
Provincial Level
VI. Media and Online Information: Pre-Olympic Anti-Trafficking
Discourses and Campaigns on the Lower Mainland
23
Sex Worker Safety: Cooperative Brothel Campaign and Harm Reduction
Deterring Human Trafficking and Curbing Male Sexual Demand
Summary Discussion
VII. Interview Data: Key Findings
Pre-Olympic Preparation and Priorities: Federal, Regional, Provincial,
and Local Anti-Trafficking Measures and Initiatives
Federal and Regional Levels
Provincial Level
Local Law Enforcement
NGOs, Service Providers, Outreach Workers, and Advocates
Youth Sexual Exploitation
Sex Worker Organizations, Outreach Workers, and Advocates
Migrant Workers and Labour Exploitation
28
Varying Definitions and Understandings of Human Trafficking
National Statistics on Human Trafficking, Reported Cases, and Links to the 2010
Olympic Games
Measuring Effectiveness and Assessing Outcomes
Key Informant Recommendations
VIII. Conclusions and Recommendations
61
Appendices
Appendix A:
Appendix B:
Appendix C:
Appendix D:
Appendix E:
Sample Letter of Introduction/Invitation (NGO Sectors)
Sample Letter of Introduction/Invitation (Government Departments/ Agencies)
Participant Consent Form Template
Interview Questionnaire (NGO Sectors): Telephone and In-Person
Interview Questionnaire (Government Departments/Agencies): Telephone, InPerson, and E-Mail
GAATW Canada Research Team
The Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) Canada was established in 1996 in
Victoria, BC and is a member organization of GAATW whose International Secretariat is located
in Bangkok, Thailand. It constitutes an alliance of over 105 non-governmental organizations
worldwide, which include women’s rights, human rights, migrant rights, and anti-trafficking
organizations, as well as self-organized groups of migrant workers, domestic workers, sex
workers, and survivors of human trafficking.
Annalee Lepp (Principal Investigator) is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department
of Women’s Studies at the University of Victoria, and is a founding member of the Global
Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) Canada. Since 1997, she has participated in crisis
intervention, advocacy, and various collaborative research projects that examined Canadian state
policies and practices as they relate to trafficking in persons and irregular cross-border
movements. In 1997, she was part of the GAATW Canada team that organized the first North
American consultative forum on human trafficking held in Victoria, BC; this meeting attracted
over 60 representatives from international and North American service-based and advocacy
organizations and resulted in the development of a North American plan of action. In 2002,
GAATW Canada completed a study entitled, Transnational Migration, Trafficking in Women,
and Human Rights: The Canadian Dimension for which she acted as the project coordinator and
co-investigator; this study involved researchers in British Columbia, Ontario, St. Petersburg, and
Bangkok. She has given over 45 conference presentations and invited lectures on the issue of
human trafficking in the Canadian and international contexts.
Shauna Paull (Co-Investigator) is an educator and community advocate. Since 1999, she has
worked with migrant and undocumented women toward labour and mobility rights. In addition to
providing direct service and supports for trafficked women, Shauna was a founding member of
the Anti-Trafficking Coalition of Vancouver in 2004 and a lead organizer with the Canadian Red
Cross for the public education program, Look Beneath the Surface: Community Responses to
Human Trafficking in 2005. She was instrumental in developing the Red Cross First Contact
Program in BC as well as the Multi-Agency Planning Coalition for migrant and refugee services
in Vancouver. Shauna represented Canada as an NGO delegate to the UNCSW meetings in 2006
and participated as a Canadian representative in the DAW Expert Panel: Community
Collaborations and Human Trafficking.
Sarah Hunt (Researcher) is from the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation and has worked for ten
years as a community-based researcher, program coordinator, and educator, focusing on building
the capacity of Indigenous communities to address difficult issues such as colonial violence,
intergenerational abuse, and youth sexual exploitation. She has given over 30 presentations and
co-authored eight major reports and articles on these issues, the most recent entitled “Colonial
Roots, Contemporary Risk Factors: a cautionary exploration of the domestic trafficking of
Aboriginal women and girls in British Columbia, Canada” and published in Alliance News
(GAATW: Bangkok) in July 2010. She is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Geography at
Simon Fraser University.
Executive Summary
Between February and August 2010, GAATW Canada researchers conducted a qualitative
research project, funded by Public Safety Canada, on possible increases in transnational and
domestic human trafficking in British Columbia in connection with the 2010 Vancouver
Olympic and Paralympic Games. Research involved examining available data on the link
between trafficking in persons and previous mega sporting events, analyzing media, online, and
public discussions that focused on human trafficking prior to and during the Olympic Games,
and conducting telephone, in-person, and e-mail interviews with 61 key informants, federal and
provincial representatives, enforcement personnel, members of non-governmental organizations,
as well as legal and human rights advocates. In the process of investigating the main research
question, the research team also considered the dynamics of pre-Olympic anti-trafficking
discourses and campaigns, what trafficking in persons prevention measures were implemented
by governmental, enforcement, and non-governmental sectors and the reported effectiveness of
those strategies, as well as the key recommendations that emerged from interview participants.
The interview data provided contrary evidence about whether or not there were indications that
human trafficking had occurred prior to and during the 2010 Olympic Games. Nonetheless,
without out ruling the possibility that human trafficking for the purposes of labour and sexual
exploitation might have evaded detection with the risk of domestic trafficking into the
commercial sex sector specifically mentioned, the vast majority of informants across stakeholder
sectors suggested that they had no specific knowledge of or that there was no concrete and
verifiable evidence of trafficking in persons for the purposes of sexual or labour exploitation
linked to the 2010 Olympic Games. In addition, as of the end of August 2010, no trafficking in
persons cases connected to the event had reached the level of investigation. There was also no
strong evidence of a significant spike in male demand for paid sexual services during the
Olympic Games. In the absence of evidence-based research, which has systematically assessed
the fan base of or measured male demand for paid sexual services during mega sporting events, it
is unclear whether this was a feature unique to what some interviewees described as a more
“family-oriented” event like the Winter Olympics or mega sporting events more generally.
Available data suggests, however, that during presumably less “family-centred” international
sporting events like the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, the anticipated or forecasted level of
demand did not materialize.
The key recommendations that emerged from the interview data included the following:
 Examine the histories of and the lessons learned from previous international sporting
events as well as the policies and practices implemented by other host nations/regions. This
would include an analysis of the anticipated fan base.
 Engage in an early assessment of the risk of human trafficking in the host
country/region/city using an evidence-based approach, and develop appropriate prevention
strategies accordingly. Labour trafficking should receive equivalent attention to trafficking in
persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and prevention initiatives, including guiding
principles for employers, should be initiated during the infrastructure and venue construction
phase.
 Establish mechanisms based on a consistent definitional methodology to track trafficking
in persons information, data, and measurements, and conduct data collection prior, during, and
after the event.
 Strategic planning and implementation should include the development of a clearly
defined human trafficking prevention plan with milestones and benchmarks, the fostering of
partnerships, networks, coordination, and information sharing among relevant government
agencies, enforcement bodies, and with NGOs, and the establishment of appropriate investigative
protocols and referral mechanisms to monitor the situation on the ground and to respond to the
support needs of trafficked persons. Key partnerships and consultations on strategic planning
should also involve Indigenous, youth, sex worker, and migrant worker organizations/advocates
as well as grassroots community-based groups.
 In consultation with relevant NGOs and community-based partners, ensure that relevant
and funded service strategies are in place to serve the needs of trafficked persons, as well as
irregular migrant workers (including free and confidential legal advice and representation,
interpreters, and translation).
 Conduct targeted trafficking in persons awareness training of enforcement personnel
(police officers, immigration and border officials), criminal justice officials, labour inspectors,
first responders and NGO partners, as well as private sector employers and employees in such
areas as construction, hospitality services, and transportation. This instruction should also
include “sensitivity training” of all security and enforcement officers seconded to the event.
Special attention should be paid to non-discriminatory treatment of foreign nationals at ports of
entry and temporary foreign workers regardless of labour site, as well as to the rights, safety, and
needs of marginalized, stigmatized, vulnerable, and diverse local populations whose lives and
work might be negatively impacted by the influx of tourists, an enhanced security and
enforcement apparatus in their communities, as well as by certain anti-trafficking interventions.
 Devise and initiate a national or regional trafficking in persons public awareness
campaign, with input from all relevant community stakeholders. Such a campaign should be
accurate, evidence-based, and adhere to the principle of “do no harm.”
While the above recommendations are consistent with those found in assessments of other mega
sporting events, two additional themes emerged from the interview data. The first focused on the
important need to foster collaborative partnerships and consultations on strategic planning with
communities with on-the-ground knowledge of trafficking in persons and those whose lives and
work might be adversely affected by the enhanced security and enforcement presence and antitrafficking interventions during international sporting events. In the context of the 2010 Olympic
Games in Vancouver, the beginnings of such a model was evident and could be extended to
include other grassroots, community-based representatives. The second theme concentrated on
the critical necessity to adopt an evidence-based strategic approach and practice. Applicable to
governmental, enforcement, and non-governmental agencies, this underlying principle would
shape the planning and implementation of human trafficking prevention strategies, public
awareness and media campaigns, as well as necessary assistance measures for trafficked persons
should the need materialize.
I. Introduction
Large international sporting events, like the Summer and Winter Olympics and the FIFA World
Cup, conjure up a diverse array of co-existing and often contradictory sentiments, images, and
realities. Supporters of such events emphasize the positive upsurge in global unity, national pride
and community engagement; the celebration of athletic excellence, fair competition, and more
recently, the Right to Play with its emphasis on promoting development, health and peace
through sports among disadvantaged children; as well as the short- and long-term business,
investment, employment, and tourism benefits growing largely out of the enhanced global profile
of host cities/regions. On the other side of the divide, opponents express concerns about massive
public investments in sports infrastructure and transportation and their adverse effects on the
environment and social spending; heightened surveillance, security and law enforcement in host
cities which disproportionately affect marginalized populations; and urban ‘clean up’ operations
resulting in the social displacement of the poor, the vulnerable, and the stigmatized. In British
Columbia, there was also some vocal Indigenous opposition to the 2010 Winter Olympic and
Paralympic Games in Vancouver/Whistler, encapsulated in the slogan, “No Olympics on Stolen
Native Land.”1 Amidst the ongoing debates over the benefits and harms caused by mega sporting
events, it is relatively recently that human trafficking, be it for sexual or labour exploitation, has
been added to the list of potential negative side effects. The 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic
Games, held between 12 and 28 February, were no exception to this latter trend.
In the last decade and particularly since the adoption of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress,
and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000) [hereafter UN
Trafficking Protocol], human trafficking has received growing attention at the global, regional,
and national levels. International agencies and national governments have stepped up efforts to
combat this crime against persons through the enactment of criminal laws and the
implementation of various policies aimed at prosecution, prevention, protection, and, most
recently, partnerships. In addition, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been
instrumental in raising public awareness about the issue and in establishing service regimes to
assist trafficked persons. Despite such a range of initiatives, international and national estimates
on the number of persons trafficked into situations of sexual exploitation and forced labour on an
annual basis have varied dramatically. While it is widely recognized that compiling
comprehensive and accurate human trafficking statistics is difficult given the clandestine
character of the activity, challenges in identifying persons affected by trafficking, and the
reluctance or inability of trafficked persons to contact authorities or NGOs,2 such numerical
variations are also due in part to differing interpretations of what constitutes human trafficking.3
1
See The Olympic Resistance Network, “What is wrong with the Olympics?” at
http://olympicresistance.net/content/what-wrong-Olympics-0; Brandy Yanchyk, “Aboriginal Canadians divided over
Olympics,” BBC News, 1 January 2010.
2
See, for example, Heather J. Clawson, Estimating Human Trafficking into the United States: Development of a
Methodology. Final Phase Two Report (U.S. Department of Justice, December 2007); Andrea Lange, “Research
note: challenges of identifying female human trafficking victims using a national 1-800 call center,” Trends in
Organized Crime, 14, 1 (31 July 2010): 47-55.
3
For a discussion of this phenomenon in the U.S. and Canadian contexts, see, for example, Jennifer Lynne Musto,
“What’s in a name? Conflations and contradictions in contemporary U.S. discourses of human trafficking,”
1
Within this broad context of more concerted action, greater public awareness, statistical
approximations, and varied understandings, international mega sporting events have, since 2004,
come under increasing scrutiny and have been identified by certain sectors as highly fertile
environments for human trafficking particularly for the purpose of sexual exploitation. An
examination of this cause/effect relationship using an evidence-based approach is the main focus
of this study.
Between February and August 2010, GAATW Canada researchers conducted a qualitative
research project commissioned by Public Safety Canada on possible increases in transnational
and domestic human trafficking in British Columbia in connection with the 2010 Vancouver
Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The four main questions that guided the research were
as follows:
a) What are the multiple effects of the presence of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic
Games in Vancouver/Whistler in the following areas: cross international border movements,
inter- and intra-provincial migration, and within region recruitment into such sectors as sex
work/prostitution, construction, manufacturing, and the sales and service sector?
b) Within this broad context of potential heightened demand, in what ways and to what extent
are large international sporting events (in this case, the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games)
a conducive environment for human trafficking for the purposes of forced labour and sexual
exploitation?
c) Was there an increase in human trafficking in the period leading up to and during the 2010
Olympic and Paralympic Games on the BC Lower Mainland?
d) What factors need to be taken into account when considering the absence of an increase or an
increase in human trafficking during this international sporting event?
This report, which presents the findings of the research, is divided into seven main sections and
cover the following topics: research methodology; legal and policy frameworks; existing data on
the link between human trafficking and previous mega sporting events; pre-2010 Vancouver
Olympic Games federal and provincial counter-trafficking frameworks; pre-Olympic antitrafficking discourses and campaigns on the Lower Mainland; key findings from interviews with
61 key informants; and conclusions and recommendations.
II. Research Methodology
This study is based on research into a broad spectrum of sources. Important contextual
information was gleaned from international literature and in particular from studies that have
Women’s Studies International Forum, 32, 4 (2009): 281-287; Lucie Ogrodnik, Towards the Development of a
National Data Collection Framework to Measure Trafficking in Persons (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics,
Statistics Canada, June 2010).
2
assessed the connection between human trafficking and previous international mega sporting
events. Furthermore, relevant Canadian documents and studies provided data on the development
of national and provincial counter-trafficking initiatives and strategies and what is known about
the nature and scope of transnational and domestic trafficking in Canada and British Columbia.
The researchers also undertook an extensive analysis of available print media, focusing on
national and provincial coverage in the period between 2006, when discussions about the link
between human trafficking and the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games first surfaced in the media,
and August 2010, the endpoint of the study. This media analysis was supplemented by a review
of publicly accessible data, which documented various public awareness campaigns initiated by
NGOs and faith-based groups prior to the commencement of the Olympic Games. In the latter
two cases, these sources offered a comprehensive snapshot of public discussions and debates
concerning human trafficking and the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. In total,
researchers reviewed approximately 40 reports, 35 academic articles, 100 websites, and 400
online media articles and documents related to the main research questions.
The research team also gathered relevant qualitative and quantitative data through 61 semistructured telephone, in person, and, in some cases, e-mail interviews. At the outset of the
research, a list of potential participants was compiled and categorized into six main sectors:
federal government representatives, most of whom sit on the Interdepartmental Working Group
on Trafficking in Persons (IWGTIP); provincial government agencies in British Columbia; law
enforcement, immigration, and border security personnel on the Lower Mainland and in
Vancouver; national and provincial Indigenous organizations; Lower Mainland- and Vancouverbased service provision, outreach, and advocacy organizations; legal and human rights
advocates; and academic researchers with expertise in human trafficking in Canada and British
Columbia. The principal geographical focus of the research was British Columbia and
particularly the Lower Mainland, and we received additional participant referrals throughout the
data collection period.
Whether contacted by e-mail, telephone or in-person, potential participants were sent a letter of
introduction/invitation by e-mail (see Appendix A and Appendix B), which contained a
description of the focus and purpose of the research, what participation would involve, including
the time commitment, interview method options, and the names and contact information of the
researchers. Upon receiving agreement to participate, interviewees were forwarded an interview
questionnaire; they were informed that the questionnaire was meant as a guide and that some
questions would likely be more relevant to their area of expertise than others. Participants were
also sent a participant consent form, which included provisions related to anonymity and
confidentiality, and how the research results would be used. Prior to the commencement of each
interview, the participant was asked to indicate, either in writing or verbally, his/her consent to
the conditions of participation in the research and his/her preference with respect to anonymity
(the options were complete anonymity, partial anonymity, and permission to be identified by
name and organizational/institutional affiliation in the written results) (see Appendix C).
Regardless of the level of anonymity participants chose, the confidentiality of the original data
was protected using a number of standard procedures: the coding of each interview (digital
recording and transcript) and the storage of the original data on a secure online site, in password
protected computer files, and in locked cabinets. These procedures are consistent with accepted
standards of ethical research involving human subjects.
3
Despite considerable overlap, the research team developed two interview questionnaires: one
designed for interviews with government personnel; and the other for members of NGOs and
individuals (see Appendix D and Appendix E). Each interview questionnaire contained a
preamble, which included the UN Trafficking Protocol definition of trafficking in persons and
current Canadian human trafficking legislation. This level of detail was included in order to
register to participants that the research was framed by current international and national legal
definitions of trafficking in persons.
The questions included in each interview questionnaire were designed to solicit both qualitative
and quantitative data and were grouped into loose thematic categories. These categories covered
such areas as the participant’s perspectives on existing anti-trafficking discourses as they related
to the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games; perceived links between large sporting
events and human trafficking, migration and mobility, as well as sexual and labour exploitation;
observations concerning people’s movements (cross-border and domestic) and potential and
tangible risk factors; involvement in pre-Games anti-trafficking initiatives; the effectiveness of
such initiatives, any unintended consequences, and how effectiveness might be or was being
measured; and an overall accounting as it pertained to the main research questions. In
formulating these questions, the research team’s intent was to obtain a comprehensive
understanding of the perceived and real connections (or lack thereof) between the presence of the
2010 Winter Olympic Games and an increase in transnational and domestic human trafficking.
Out of a total of 125 individuals contacted, 61 (or 48 per cent) agreed to participate and 64 either
did not respond to our letters of invitation or declined to participate on various grounds; hence
the research team makes no claim to have interviewed all relevant stakeholders. Reasons given
for non-participation will be discussed in greater detail in Section VII. Furthermore, through the
creation of a share document on a secure online site, the identification and verification of
common themes and anomalous results contained in the interview data using open and selective
coding constituted an ongoing process during the primary data collection phase.
III. Legal and Policy Frameworks
Legal Definitions
In the past decade, human trafficking has been identified internationally and nationally as a
serious crime against persons and as a serious violation of human rights. The UN Trafficking
Protocol, which was opened for signature in 2000, came into force on 25 December 2003, and
supplements the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, constitutes the
principal international treaty designed to combat human trafficking. The Trafficking Protocol has
147 State Parties4 and defines trafficking in persons as follows:
4
See United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Signatories to the United Nations Convention against
Transnational Crime and its Protocols at http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CTOC/signatures.html.
4
“’Trafficking in persons’ shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or
receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of
abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the
giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control
over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum,
the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour
or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or removal of organs.”5
Canada signed the UN Trafficking Protocol in December 2000 and ratified the treaty on 13 May
2002. With respect to Canada’s obligation to make trafficking in persons a criminal offence,
there are two relevant federal statutes: the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA); and
the Criminal Code.
Section 118 of IRPA, enacted in 2002, was the first specific offence to target trafficking in
persons. It states:
“No person shall knowingly organize the coming into Canada of one or more persons by means
of abduction, fraud, deception or use or threat of force or coercion.” “Organize with respect to
persons” includes the “recruitment or transportation and, after their entry into Canada, the receipt
or harbouring of those persons.”
This offence focuses on the method by which a person is brought into Canada. Exploitative
conduct associated with the commission of this offence is captured in section 121 of IRPA,
which lists a variety of aggravating factors that must be taken into account when sentences are
imposed in trafficking in persons cases.6
Canada’s Criminal Code offences on trafficking in persons prohibit trafficking in persons for any
exploitative purpose, regardless of whether the trafficking occurs wholly within Canada or
whether it involves bringing persons into Canada.
Section 279.01 states:
(1) Every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a
person, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the
purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation is guilty of an indictable offence and
liable
(a) to imprisonment for life if they kidnap, commit an aggravated assault or aggravated
sexual assault against, or cause death to, the victim during the commission of the offence;
or
(b) to imprisonment for a term of not more than fourteen years in any other case.
5
United Nations, Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and
Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000), Article 3.
6
Canada, Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, 2001, c. 27, Sections 118, 120, and 121.
5
(2) No consent to the activity that forms the subject-matter of a charge under subsection (1) is
valid.
For the purposes of the trafficking in persons offences, exploitation is defined in section 279.04
as follows:
For the purposes of sections 279.01 to 279.03, a person exploits another person if they
(a) cause them to provide, or offer to provide, labour or a service by engaging in conduct
that, in all the circumstances, could reasonably be expected to cause the other person to
believe that their safety or the safety of a person known to them would be threatened if
they failed to provide, or offer to provide, the labour or service; or
(b) cause them, by means of deception or the use or threat of force or of any other form of
coercion, to have an organ or tissue removed.
Under section 279.011, the Criminal Code also includes a specific offence for trafficking persons
under the age of eighteen years:
(1) Every person who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a
person under the age of eighteen years, or exercises control, direction or influence over the
movements of a person under the age of eighteen years, for the purpose of exploiting them or
facilitating their exploitation is guilty of an indictable offence and liable
(a) to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of
six years if they kidnap, commit an aggravated assault or aggravated sexual assault
against, or cause death to, the victim during the commission of the offence; or
(b) to imprisonment for a term of not more than fourteen years and to a minimum
punishment of imprisonment for a term of five years, in any other case.
(2) No consent to the activity that forms the subject-matter of a charge under subsection (1) is
valid.
Other human trafficking offences included in the Criminal Code cover benefiting materially
from trafficking in persons (279.02) and withholding or destroying documents (279.03):
279.02 Every person who receives a financial or other material benefit, knowing that it results
from the commission of an offence under subsection 279.01(1), is guilty of an indictable offence
and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than ten years.
279.03 Every person who, for the purpose of committing or facilitating an offence under
subsection 279.01(1), conceals, removes, withholds or destroys any travel document that belongs
to another person or any document that establishes or purports to establish another person’s
identity or immigration status is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a
6
term of not more than five years, whether or not the document is of Canadian origin or is
authentic.7
Human trafficking is to be distinguished from human smuggling. The United Nations Protocol
against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, supplementing the Convention against
Transnational Organized Crime, defines migrant smuggling as the “procurement, in order to
obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit, of the illegal entry of a person
into a State Party of which the person is not a national or a permanent resident”8 Migrant
smuggling and human trafficking can be differentiated in four principal ways. First, migrant
smuggling is always a transnational activity while trafficking in person need not be. Second,
smuggled persons generally consent to being smuggled, while trafficked persons can never
consent to the process, which forms the basis of human trafficking. Third, smuggled persons are
generally free to do what they want once they have arrived in the country of destination, whereas
trafficked persons have their liberty curtailed and are compelled to provide their labour. Finally,
smugglers make their profits through the fees associated with their services; human traffickers, in
contrast, profit through exploiting the labour or services of trafficked persons. However, as
various policymakers and scholars have pointed out, when identifying who constitutes a
transnational trafficked person, the distinction between human trafficking and illegal smuggling
can sometimes be blurred, and a person who is smuggled may become a trafficked person at any
point in the smuggling process.9
The 4 P’s: Prosecution, Prevention, Protection, and Partnerships
The UN Trafficking Protocol is characterized by the “3 Ps” approach to combating human
trafficking: law enforcement measures to deter, detect, prosecute, and punish traffickers;
prevention measures to reduce human trafficking; and protection and assistance measures for
persons who have been trafficked. In Canada (and in many other countries), a fourth “P” –
domestic and international partnerships – has long been advocated and constitutes a central
component of the federal government’s anti-trafficking efforts.
In a 2009 report, entitled Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, the UN Office on Drugs and
Crime commented positively on the enhanced legislative, institutional, and criminal justice
responses among the 155 countries and territories analyzed in the document: “In 2003, only one
third of the countries covered by this report had legislation against human trafficking; at the end
of 2008, four-fifths did. The number of countries having anti-trafficking legislation more than
doubled between 2003 and 2008 in response to the passage of the Protocol. In addition, 54% of
responding countries have established a special anti-trafficking police unit, and more than half
7
Canada, Criminal Code, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, Sections 279.01 – 279.04. The Department of Justice Canada
produced a “Trafficking in Persons Information Sheet for Law Enforcement” which provides an explanation of each
of these Criminal Code provisions. See http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fs-sv/pdf/ht.pdf.
8
United Nations, Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, Supplementing the United
Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000), Article 3 (a).
9
See, for example, Human Trafficking: Reference Guide for Canadian Law Enforcement (Abbotsford, BC: UCFV
Press, 2005), 10-12.
7
have developed a national action plan to deal with this issue.”10 In providing its country reports,
the number of prosecutions, as is the case in the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in
Persons (TIP) Reports (2001 – 2011),11 was also highlighted.
One critical response to this strong global movement on the legislative and law enforcement
front has been persistent calls for the implementation of a much more human rights-centred
approach to trafficking in persons. The UN Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human
Rights and Human Trafficking (2002), for example, stressed that the “human rights of trafficked
persons shall be at the centre of all efforts to prevent and combat trafficking” and that “antitrafficking measures shall not adversely affect the human rights and dignity of persons, in
particular the rights of those who have been trafficked, and of migrants, internally displaced
persons, refugees and asylum seekers.” Furthermore, this document emphasized that States,
intergovernmental organizations, and NGOs should monitor and evaluate “the relationship
between the intention of anti-trafficking laws, policies and interventions, and their real impact,”
by “ensuring that distinctions are made between measures which actually reduce trafficking and
measures which may have the effect of transferring the problem from one place or group to
another.”12 Some international and national NGOs that have scrutinized the development of
national and regional state-sponsored counter-trafficking strategies over the last decade have
argued that the significant legislative and law enforcement response to combating human
trafficking has not been matched by serious attention to the following key areas: the root causes
of human trafficking; the complexities of transnational, regional, and domestic migrations into
multiple sites, including sex work; the protection, assistance, and human rights of trafficked
persons particularly those who are non-citizens in destination countries; and to the possible
harmful impacts of certain anti-trafficking strategies, interventions, and campaigns on the human
rights of marginalized, vulnerable, and stigmatized populations.13 A number of these latter issues
also surfaced in assessments of government- and NGO-supported anti-trafficking initiatives in
the context of international mega sporting events.
10
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons (2009), 8.
For complete versions of the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Reports from 2001 to 2011,
see www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/.
12
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights
and Human Trafficking (2002), 1, 5. Addendum to the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights to the Economic and Social Council. E/2002/68/Add. 1.
13
Among the vast literature produced in the past decade on these issues, see, for example, The Future Group,
Falling Short of the Mark: An International Study on the Treatment of Human Trafficking Victims (March 2006);
GAATW, Collateral Damage: The Impact of Anti-Trafficking Measures on Human Rights around the World
(Bangkok, 2007); GAATW, Feeling good about feeling bad … A global review of evaluation in anti-trafficking
initiatives (Bangkok, 2010); Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), Trafficking in Women and Girls: Report of
Meetings 2003 (February 2004), “National Forum: Improving Services and Protection for Trafficked Persons, 2-3
December 2009. Summary Report” (January 2010), and the CCR’s “Protecting Trafficked Persons in Canada”
initiative available at www.ccrweb.ca/trafficking/home.htm; West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF),
“Position Paper on Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation” (October 2009).
11
8
IV. International Mega Sporting Events and Human Trafficking
Over the last seven years, the link between international sporting events and an increase in
human trafficking particularly for the purpose of sexual exploitation has generated considerable
interest and debate among government officials, academics, and NGOs at the international and
national levels. The 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games, the 2006 FIFA World Cup in
Germany, the 2008 UEFA European Cup in Switzerland/Austria, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in
South Africa, and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London have to date garnered the most
attention.14 In 2007, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) released a report
entitled, Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup in Germany,15 which constituted
one of the first systematic analyses of this connection with a specific focus on transnational
trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation within the context of four mega
sporting events, including the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games and the 2006 FIFA World
Cup in Germany. A review of the subsequent literature indicates that in the ideologically and
politically charged world of anti-trafficking work, interpretations of existing data have tended to
vary.
2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games
Available information on human trafficking in the context of the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic
Games (13 – 29 August 2004) is limited. As noted in the aforementioned IOM report, in 2003,
Terre Libere, an Italian-based NGO, predicted a rise in the “number of women being smuggled
into Greece” in the year prior to the Olympic Games in order to satisfy a rise in demand for
sexual services.16 Other reports suggest that Voice of America warned that as many as 20,000
14
An internet search suggested that human trafficking did not appear to have been a significant issue or focus of
discussion prior to and during the following mega sporting events: the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympic Games
(except mention of New South Wales police having raided “a number of Sydney brothels, massage parlours and
strip clubs to find underage girls brought in from Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines to work as prostitutes.” See
Mark McDonald, “Olympic flame fails to heat brothel trade: Despite legal prostitution, the sex business isn’t setting
any world records in Sydney,” Ottawa Citizen, 30 September 2000, D5); the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic
Games (except for some discussion of girls living in polygamist communities affiliated with the Fundamentalist
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Utah and surrounding states being trafficked to Canada for marriage
to polygamous men in British Columbia. See Child Protection Project in Colorado and the International Human
Rights Clinic at the New York University School of Law, “USA: Polygamy related abuses in Utah” 15 February
2002 at http://www.wluml.org/node/35); the 2006 Turin Winter Olympic Games; or the 2008 Beijing Summer
Olympic Games (although there was discussion of forced child labour, including in factories producing Olympic
merchandise. David Barboza, “China says abusive child labor ring is exposed,” New York Times, 1 May 2008). It is
also possible that publically accessible information in English is not available for all of these events. Similarly, there
was little or no discussion of human trafficking prior to and during the FIFA World Cup in Paris in 1998 and in
Korea/Japan in 2002, or the UEFA championships in Belgium/Netherlands in 2000 and in Portugal in 2004. Jana
Hennig, Sarah Craggs, Frank Laczko and Fred Larsson, Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup in
Germany (International Organization for Migration, 2007), at 11 indicate that, with respect to the 1998 FIFA World
Cup in Paris and the 2004 UEFA championships in Portugal, no “significant” government, institutional, or NGO
information on human trafficking was compiled or available.
15
A draft report of this study was released in September 2006; the research was funded by the Swedish International
Development Agency (Sida).
16
Hennig, et al., Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup, 12.
9
women would be trafficked into the sex trade in Athens; in June 2004, the British Broadcasting
Corporation (BBC) quoted one “expert in Greece” who had “information that traffickers will try
to bring 2,000 extra women into the country and force them to work as prostitutes.”17 In July
2003, controversy had also erupted when municipal authorities sought “to shut down 15
downtown brothels [in Athens] for being too close to schools and churches,” which resulted in
protests by local sex workers affiliated with the prostitutes’ union, KEGE. While not explicitly
identified in the press as an anti-trafficking measure, these proposed closures, as part of the city’s
enforcement of brothel licensing regulations, were justified on the grounds that they would “stop
illegal prostitution from expanding during the games”; protesters argued, however, that the
closures would “feed the illegal sex trade before the Olympics.” In a final twist, the Greek
Orthodox Church as well as the Gender Equality Ministers of Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland,
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania interpreted the requirement that Athens brothels be licensed as a
move to promote “sex tourism” and “to increase brothel activities” during the Games. In
response, the Ministers issued a “joint statement” in July 2003, which expressed their
“abhorrence” at this plan and emphasized that it would “lead to more women being exploited and
abused.”18
In reviewing the available data contained in the Greek Ministry of Public Order’s 2004
Organized Crime report as well as in the IOM database in Athens, IOM researchers concluded
that there were no references to “instances of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation
during the 2004 Olympic Games.”19 Furthermore, with respect to demand for paid sexual
services, the Executive Director of one faith-based organization, Neo Zoi, Lost Coin:
Association for the Support and Restoration of Individuals Involved in Prostitution in Athens,
testified before a U.S. House of Representatives hearing that extensive NGO “street work during
the Olympics yielded unexpected results: we were not meeting new victims of trafficking. Of the
new faces, few were identified as victims of trafficking, and even fewer had entered the country
recently. Our experience seemed to hold up around the city: no increase in prostitution around
the Athens Olympics. The Greek Union of Prostitutes even reported a decrease in demand
compared to the previous year.”20
17
Dr. Nivedita Prasad and Babette Rohner, Ban Ying, “Dramatic Increase in Forced Prostitution? The 2006 World
Cup and the consequences of an unscreened rumour” (2006), 2; Richard Galpin, “Fears of Athens sex slave boom,”
BBC News, 21 June 2004.
18
“Anger over Greek Olympic Brothels,” BBC News, 23 July 2003; “Swedes can go for gold in Athens Olympic
brothels,” Reuters, 25 July 2003; “Athens prostitutes rally against Olympic regulations,” Globe and Mail, 24 July
2003; “Prostitution issue raised in pre-Olympic Athens,” Prince George Citizen, 25 July 2003; “Green light for red
light area in Athens,” AFP, 6 August 2003; “Brothels in Athens?,” Prince George Citizen, 14 November 2003;
“Olympic brothel bill hits speed bump,” Alaska Highway News (Fort St. John, BC), 14 November 2003.
19
Hennig, et al., Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup, 12.
20
The Executive Director attributed these unexpected results to “divine intervention.” “ITeams Missionary
Addresses House Committee on International Relations.” 4 May 2006 at
http://www.iteams.org/news/archive/may25_06.shtml; U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International
Relations, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations, Germany’s World Cup
Brothels: 40,000 Women and Children at Risk of Exploitation Through Trafficking (Washington, D.C., 4 May
2006), 16-21 at http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa27330.000/hfa27330_0f.htm. See also Paul
Majendie, “Olympic fans too busy for prostitutes,” Reuters, 31 August 2004 (reported on talktalk.co.uk).
10
A subsequent 2007 report produced by the Canadian-based Future Group, entitled Faster,
Higher, Stronger: Preventing Human Trafficking at the 2010 Olympics, cited police data from
the Hellenic Ministry of Public Order, which indicated an increase in the number of trafficked
persons identified in 2004 (181 persons), up from the 2003 (93 persons) and 2005 (137 persons)
figures. While conceding that “there are numerous factors that can effect [sic] the number of
known human trafficking victims,” the 95 per cent increase between 2003 and 2004 was
emphasized, a correlation to the Olympic Games was strongly inferred, and the Greek
government’s less “extensive” human trafficking prevention efforts prior to and during the event
was suggested as the main cause.21 Further research, however, suggests that it is also possible
that this rise was the result of Greek authorities multiplying their “efforts to fight sexual
exploitation” and organized crime after receiving a Tier 3 ranking in the 2002 and 2003 U.S.
State Department’s TIP Reports (upgraded to Tier 2 in September 2003)22 and Tier 2 Watch List
status in the 2004 TIP Report. Various Greek government ministries did release information on
law enforcement’s anti-trafficking operations between 2002 and 2004, including during and after
the 2004 Olympic Games.23 Differing interpretations of scanty extant data aside, what can be
said is that some Canadian journalists, politicians, faith-based groups, and NGOs picked up on
the emphasized 95 per cent increase in 2004, re-circulated this percentage as directly connected
to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and presented it as evidence that the risk of an increase in
human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation during the 2010 Vancouver Winter
Olympic Games was a significant one.24
21
The Future Group, Faster, Higher, Stronger: Preventing Trafficking at the 2010 Olympics (Calgary, 2007), 14.
“195 women ‘sex slaves’: Greece,” AFP, 16 December 2003.
23
Hellenic Republic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Deputy FM Mr. E. Stylianidis presents the national action plan,
drawn up by the foreign ministry, to challenge the phenomenon of illegal human trafficking” (November 2004) and
“Additional Measures taken by the Greek Ministry of Public Order and the Greek Police (n.d.); Hellenic Republic,
Ministry of Citizen Protection, “International cooperation” at
http://www.astynomia.gr/index.php?option=ozo_content&perform=view&id= 228&Itemid=228&lang=EN which
focused on law enforcement’s multinational region-wide anti-trafficking efforts from 2002 to 2004. See also U.S.
Department of State, “2004 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Greece” (28 February 2005). In addition,
as the first summer Olympic Games in the aftermath of 9/11, the 2004 Athens Olympics Games had one of largest
security budgets of any previous Games, with the primary focus being on counter-terrorism and with the U.S. alone
investing an additional $35 million dollars in security assistance, support, and training. See George V. Voulgarakis,
“Securing the Olympic Games: A Model of International Cooperation to Confront New Threats,” Mediterranean
Quarterly (Fall 2005), 1-7; United States Government Accountability Office, Olympic Security: U.S. Support to
Athens Games Provides Lessons for Future Olympics, GAO-05-547 (May 2005). However, international and
national human rights organizations expressed strong concerns about the deaths of between 14 to 40 migrant
workers on Olympic construction sites as well as the city’s pre-Olympic clean up and security operations, which
principally affected the homeless, Romani families, asylum seekers, and Muslim migrants. “Workers in peril at
Athens Olympics sites,” BBC News, 23 July 2004; Amnesty International, “Greece: Olympic Games must not lead
to a trade-off of security for human rights,” 12 July 2004 and “Greece: Olympics ‘clean up’ hits city’s most
vulnerable inhabitants,” 6 August 2004; Greek Helinski Monitor (GHM), “Racial Profiling of Muslim Migrants by
Hellenic Police,” Press Release, 9 July 2004.
24
For example, at least 25 Canadian and mainly British Columbia newspaper reports and other documents produced
between November 2007 and February 2010 made the direct correlation.
22
11
2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany
Of all the past international sporting events under review, the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany
(9 June to 9 July 2006) received the greatest international scrutiny, media coverage, and
subsequent scholarly analysis. The controversy began when it was predicted in April 2005 that
40,000 “foreign prostitutes” would be trafficked into the country to service male sexual demand
during the event. While the original source of the prediction is unclear, the estimate was widely
circulated in the international media and generated widespread attention, including two hearings
before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee
on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations in May/June 2006 and a Coalition
Against Trafficking in Women-sponsored international “Buying Sex Is Not a Sport!” on-line
petition. Much of the discussion focused not only on the anticipated massive spike in human
trafficking prior to the event, but also on the German government’s move in 2002 to officially
legalize sex work which for opponents of legalization made it a ‘haven for sex trafficking’.25
While some German officials, labour unions, and sex workers organizations expressed doubts
about the predicted dramatic increase, international, European Union, and NGO pressure
prompted the expansion and fortification of various prevention efforts in Germany, which began
to be operationalized in the summer of 2005. These included extensive state-federal information
sharing and intelligence gathering as well as border security and law enforcement measures,
which involved extensive brothel and sex club raids in a number of German host cities. A
coalition of women’s, human rights, and faith-based groups also mobilized, launching a series of
government-funded public awareness campaigns and 24-hour telephone hotlines for trafficked
persons and World Cup attendees.26
In a January 2007 report to the Council of the European Union’s Multidisciplinary Group on
Organized Crime, German officials stated that the anticipated increase in human trafficking for
the purpose of forced prostitution did not materialize and in total, five cases were identified as
possibly linked to the FIFA World Cup. They further noted that, while there was “an increase in
the number of prostitutes … recorded at game venues and the surrounding areas,” the “police and
to a large extent the special counselling services also noted that the increase in the number of
punters [clients] which was forecast by some did not materialize and this was the reason why
some prostitutes left before the 2006 World Cup was over.”27 In light of these developments, the
IOM researchers cited the concerns of some NGOs who maintained that the unfounded and
25
U.S. House of Representatives, Germany’s World Cup Brothels and Modern Day Slavery: Spotlight on the 2006
“Trafficking in Persons Report,” Forced Labor, and Sex Trafficking at the World Cup (Washington, D.C., 14 June
2006) at http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa28104.000/hfa28104_0.htm#2. The Coalition Against
Trafficking in Women’s online petition was circulated worldwide between 25 January and 30 June 2006 and
focused on eliminating sexual demand. See Stop Trafficking!: Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter 4, 4 (April 2006),
1, 7. For an analysis of these campaigns, see Sanja Milivojevic and Sharon Pickering, “Football and Sex: the 2006
FIFA World Cup and Sex Trafficking,” Temida, 11, 2 (June 2008): 21-46; Bruno Waterfield, “Trafficking in
dubious horror stories,” Spiked, 22 June 2006.
26
See Hennig et al., Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup, 17-20.
27
Council of the European Union, Experience Report on Human Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation
and Forced Prostitution in Connection with the 2006 Football World Cup in Germany, 5006/1/07 REV 1 (19
January 2007): 4-5.
12
unrealistic estimates that circulated prior to the event could undermine future credibility of and
support for the issue.28 In most post-World Cup assessments, however, researchers have
generally evaluated the anti-trafficking measures and campaigns prior to the event in one of two
ways: they have either lauded the extensive efforts of German authorities and NGOs as “an
effective model for future large-scale international sporting events”29; or they have maintained
that whether or not this combination of measures prevented human trafficking for the purpose of
sexual exploitation during the tournament is less important “than the fact that Germany acted” in
response to that possibility.30
There were two reports produced during the 2006 FIFA World Cup that sought to expand the
conversation about the connection between this mega sporting event and human trafficking. In
May 2006, the European Commission’s Expert Group on Trafficking in Human Beings
presented a series of recommendations, many of which were echoed in the 2007 IOM report. In a
cautionary note, the Expert Group emphasized that it “sees the World Football Cup as a specific
moment in time with an increased international attention toward trafficking in human beings,
which in its complexity and structural causes will not be solved by one-off activities around this
or other similar events.” Also highlighted was “the need for facts-based and differentiated
information as the basis for effective policies, avoiding to feed the myths – specifically on the
numbers of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation in connection with this event –
circulating in the public.” The document also emphasized that a “careful distinction should be
made between prostitution and trafficking,” presumably in response to the conflations that
characterized many of the pre-World Cup national and international anti-trafficking public
awareness campaigns. Finally, it stressed that, “it should be kept in mind that trafficking does not
happen for the purpose of sexual exploitation only, but occurs in many other unregulated
segments of the labour market, such as domestic work, the construction sector, the gastronomy,
agricultural work and sweat shops. Some of these sectors play an important role in connection
with such major international sports events.”31
In 2006, Nivedita Prasad and Babette Rohner of Ban Ying, a Berlin-based organization founded
in 1988 that runs a shelter for Southeast Asian women, a counseling centre for migrant and
trafficked women, and an anti-trafficking coordination centre, circulated a statement in which
they argued that there were a number of reasons why the 2006 FIFA World Cup was not a
conducive environment for a massive increase in transnational human trafficking for the purpose
of ‘forced prostitution’. The authors maintained that, given heightened levels of security and an
enhanced enforcement presence in host cities as well as the substantial financial investment
28
Hennig, et al., Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup, 29.
Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, “NGOs Work to Eradicate Human
Trafficking, Help Victims,” 12 June 2007; Future Group, Faster, Higher, Stronger, 9-13.
30
Anne Marie Tavella, “Sex Trafficking and the 2006 World Cup in Germany: Concerns, Actions and Implications
for Future International Sporting Events,” Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights, 6, 1 (2007): 196217; Katherine L. Morrow, “Soccer, Sex, and Slavery: Human Trafficking in the World Cup,” Tulane Journal of
International and Comparative Law, 17, 1 (2008): 265; Hennig, et al., Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006
World Cup, 29-30.
31
“Opinion of the Expert Group on Trafficking in Human Beings of the European Commission,” Brussels, 31 May
2006; Hennig, et al., Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup, 29-30.
29
13
required to move women across borders, it would be too risky and not cost effective for
traffickers to set up operations for a four-week period (or a two-week period in the case of the
Olympics). They also challenged the notion that the influx of male spectators at mega sporting
events necessarily resulted in a significant rise in demand for paid sexual services, suggesting
that the priority of fans is by and large to watch the tournament. Anecdotal evidence from
previous mega sporting events and world exhibitions (and perhaps most significantly in a period
when anti-trafficking prevention measures and campaigns were not yet being implemented)
tends to support this claim.32 Similar assertions emerged in some of the expert interviews
conducted by the IOM researchers.33 However, a review of available literature suggests that there
has been no evidence-based research conducted that has analyzed the fan-bases of or measured
the often-assumed high male demand for paid sexual services during mega sporting events.
Prasad and Rohner raised a number of other concerns about the various anti-trafficking
campaigns and measures initiated prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. First, they indicated that
there had been significant government investment in various national prevention measures,
including public awareness campaigns, but little or no investment in enhanced support and
assistance for the predicted influx of trafficked women in the form of expanded counseling
services and the creation of new shelters. Second, they noted that many Berlin-based
organizations that were involved in pre-FIFA World Cup anti-trafficking campaigns and were
establishing government-funded hot-lines had not previously been interested in the issue, leading
to a “suspicion” that these organizations became involved in order to raise their own profiles.
Third, in contrast to Tavella’s conclusion that the “sensationalism of inaccurate facts did not
have a significant impact on the situation,”34 Prasad and Rohner emphasized that more attention
to the human rights impact of counter-trafficking measures prior to and during the 2006 World
Cup was needed. For example, in the name of rescuing “foreign women” from situations of
sexual exploitation, police in Berlin and in other host cities aggressively targeted sex workers,
raided brothels (71 brothels were raided in Berlin alone) and sex clubs, and intensified checks on
brothels and other establishments. These raids and interventions, however, yielded no evidence
of human trafficking. In other words, as noted by the European Commission’s Expert Group on
Trafficking in Human Beings, “all activities in connection with this or other similar events
should not be misinterpreted or instrumentalised to discriminate against prostitutes or to further
marginalize them, thus increasing their vulnerability to trafficking and other forms of abuse …
All policies have to be assessed against their impact on human rights.” Finally, Prasad and
Rohner questioned the enhanced gender and national profiling at border entry points prior to and
32
Prasad and Rohner, “Dramatic Increase in Forced Prostitution?” 1-2. For example, Prasad and Rohner cited a
German Press Agency report published in August 2000, which focused on Expo 2000 in Hanover and more
specifically on “brothel owners who had opened up new houses for the start of the World Exhibition. But
expectations were disappointed because business was much slower than before the World Exhibition.” In addition,
another media report quoted women working in the some of the 400 legal brothels in Sydney during the 2000
Summer Olympics who reported that, “business is flat”; police also stated that Kings Cross, a notorious red light
district, was “pretty quiet.” Mark McDonald, “Olympic flame fails to heat brothel trade,” Ottawa Citizen, 30
September 2000, D5.
33
Hennig et al., Trafficking in Human Beings and the 2006 World Cup, 24.
34
Tavella, “Sex Trafficking and the 2006 World Cup in Germany,” 217.
14
during the World Cup as a justifiable counter-human trafficking measure, arguing that such
tactics violated human rights principles.35
2008 UEFA Championship in Switzerland/Austria
In the aftermath of the 2006 FIFA World Cup and in the lead up to the UEFA championship in
Switzerland/Austria in June 2008, a more cautious approach was undertaken. There were, for
example, no predictions made about a significant rise in human trafficking for the purpose of
sexual exploitation prior to and during the event. Furthermore, the Swiss government for one
officially adopted a dual approach, which combined law enforcement and security measures with
an NGO-sponsored information and awareness campaign, internet site, and hot line.36 In the
latter case, the Swiss-based Euro 08 Campaign Against Trafficking in Women, consisting of a
coalition of more than 25 NGOs, gender equality offices, faith-based organizations, and trade
unions, sought to utilize the event to distribute information on and raise awareness about human
trafficking among the general public and potential clients of sex workers. The campaign lasted
from March to September 2008.37
While emphasizing the importance of public awareness campaigns prior to and during the event
and commending the Euro 08 Campaign for its focus on “improving protection mechanisms
rather than calling for restrictive measures on immigration or prostitution,” La Strada
International, a European network of anti-trafficking organizations, strongly criticized a highly
graphic 60-second television ad, which was shown on “Swiss national television, at
Switzerland’s four Euro 2008 stadiums and at public fan zones in Berne, Basel and Zurich.” It
depicted bruised and frightened women being dragged by the hair into a dark auction pit and sold
like cattle into the sex trade. La Strada International argued that the “sex slave campaign” ad was
inappropriately sensationalistic and did a disservice to the complexities of human trafficking and
of women’s experiences: “Notwithstanding the gross human rights violation that trafficking is,
La Strada believes that agency and empowerment should be part of any human rights campaign,
in particular its imagery. Depicting women only as vulnerable, weak and helpless, however,
denies such agency and not only defies the complex picture that trafficking is, but can adversely
affect the empowerment of women in general and trafficking women in particular.”38
35
Prasad and Rohner, “Dramatic Increase in Forced Prostitution?” 2-4; “Opinion of the Expert Group on Trafficking
in Human Beings of the European Commission,” Brussels, 31 May 2006.
36
Swiss authorities noted there was no indication of an increase in human trafficking or legal prostitution at the
2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, but that “the reasons for this were presumably the prevention campaigns of nongovernmental organisations as well as tighter police controls.” See Swiss Federal Office of Police, “Dual Strategy
for countering forced prostitution at UEFA EURO 2008,” Press Release, 26 January 2007; UEFA EURO 2008
Public Authorities Security Sector Coordination, The National Swiss Security Strategy for UEFA EURO 2008 (30
March 2007), 24.
37
See “Euro 08 Campaign against Trafficking in Women” at http://www.frauenhandeleuro08.ch/en/home.
38
La Strada International, “Euro 08 campaign against THB” (2008) at
http://www.lastradainternational.org/?main=newsletter&section=newsfacts and “Evidence on sport events and
human trafficking and NGO responses,” La Strada International Newsletter, Issue 7 (December 2007), 5; “Sex-trade
campaign targets fans,” Edmonton Journal, 27 May 2008.
15
Key Recommendations
Similar discussions and debates about the connection between the presence of mega sporting
events and an increase in human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation as well as
forced labour surfaced in the lead up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and have
emerged in preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and the 2014 FIFA
World Cup in Brazil.39 Given these ongoing trends, the key recommendations developed by, for
example, the IOM and the European Commission’s Expert Group on Trafficking in Human
Beings in the aftermath of the much-scrutinized 2006 FIFA World Cup as discussed above
continue to have relevance. While various scholarly assessments of the event have emphasized
the important role of comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and policies, intelligence
gathering, coordination between national and regional enforcement agencies and between
enforcement and NGOs, as well as awareness-raising and information campaigns, other concrete
recommendations included the following:
 The implementation of an early and reliable assessment of human trafficking based on
available data in the host country/region, and the development of anti-trafficking prevention
strategies and efforts prior to and during mega sporting events that are consistent with such data
(IOM and Expert Group);
 The need to take into account the potential for human trafficking for the purpose of
forced labour and not only sexual exploitation (IOM and Expert Group);
 The provision of information to persons “working in sectors which are vulnerable to
trafficking” (Expert Group);
 The need to ensure that the assistance and protections of the human rights of trafficked
persons are as integral to anti-trafficking efforts as crime and border controls (Expert Group);
 For the “better coordination of campaigns and activities,” the development of a “single,”
“comprehensive,” “sustainable,” and “professionally organized” NGO awareness campaign with
a consistent message (IOM);
 The creation of a coordinated media approach in order to ensure that accurate information
about human trafficking is disseminated (IOM);
 The need to ensure that anti-trafficking prevention strategies, measures, as well as public
awareness and media campaigns implemented prior to and during mega sporting events do not
negatively impact the human rights of or discriminate against foreign nationals, or marginalized
and stigmatized citizens. In other words, “anti-trafficking laws, policies and practices” should
“be assessed against their impact on human rights” (Expert Group); and
 Organizers of such international sporting events “should commit themselves to guarantee
the absence of the exploitation of human beings in connection with any kind of services provided
and products sold under license in relation to the event concerned” (Expert Group).
39
See, for example, London Councils and GLE, The 2012 Games and human trafficking: Identifying possible risks
and relevant good practice from other cities (January 2011).
16
V. Canadian and British Columbia Context: Pre-Olympic Counter-Trafficking
Frameworks
Federal Level
In 1999, the Canadian federal government established the Interdepartmental Working Group on
Trafficking in Persons (IWGTIP), which was initially mandated to coordinate Canada’s
negotiating position on the provisions of the UN Trafficking Protocol. Previously co-chaired by
the Departments of Justice and Foreign Affairs and International Trade, it is currently co-chaired
by the Department of Justice Canada and Public Safety Canada and consists of representatives
from 18 departments and agencies.40 Since February 2004 and with the establishment of human
trafficking offences in IRPA (2002) and the Criminal Code (2005) discussed above, the IWGTIP
has been officially authorized to coordinate federal anti-trafficking efforts through policy
development, information exchange, and facilitating cooperation. In keeping with its
international commitments, the IWGTIP has adopted a 4 “Ps” approach to combating human
trafficking – prosecution, prevention, protection, and partnerships.
In September 2005, the RCMP Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre (HTNCC)
located in the Immigration and Passport Branch at RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa was
established. Its strategic objective is to provide a focal point for law enforcement in their efforts
to combat and disrupt criminal organizations involved in human trafficking. HTNCC’s mandate
includes developing and coordinating human trafficking activities and initiatives related to the
four pillars of prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships with domestic and
international agencies, NGOs, and local communities. In order to accomplish these goals, the
HTNCC has five main priorities: develop tools, protocols, and guidelines to facilitate human
trafficking investigations; coordinate national awareness/training and anti-trafficking initiatives;
identify and maintain lines of communication, identify issues for integrated coordination and
provide support; devise and maintain international partnerships and coordinate international
initiatives; and coordinate intelligence and facilitate the dissemination of all sources of
information.
While public education on human trafficking has been an ongoing federal prevention activity
since 2004 particularly with the production and domestic and international dissemination of an
anti-trafficking brochure, “Don’t Become a Victim of the Illegal Trade in People” (in 14
languages) and a poster, “People for sale in Canada?” (in 17 languages), in January 2009, the
RCMP launched a national public awareness campaign, which included a short video, entitled
“Human Trafficking in Canada,” an information pamphlet, as well as two posters, “I’m Not for
Sale” and “Here, You Have Rights.” Furthermore, in recent years, the HTNCC has taken a lead
40
These federal departments and agencies include: Canada Border Services Agency; Canadian Heritage; Canadian
International Development Agency; Criminal Intelligence Service Canada; Citizenship and Immigration Canada;
Department of Justice Canada; Department of National Defence; Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade; Health Canada; Human Resources and Skills Development Canada; Indian and Northern Affairs Canada;
Passport Canada; Public Prosecution Service of Canada; Public Safety Canada; RCMP; Statistics Canada; Financial
Transactions Reports Analysis Centre of Canada; and Status of Women Canada.
17
role in developing law enforcement training materials on human trafficking, such as a video and
a toolkit, which have been distributed nation-wide, and in collaboration with other federal
departments, has provided training to enforcement officers and other officials.
Besides public awareness and training, federal departments, in the years leading up to the 2010
Vancouver Olympic Games, identified and initiated more targeted anti-trafficking monitoring
and prevention activities. In August 2007, for example, the Vancouver Sun reported that it had
obtained an August 2006 internal Canada Border Services Agency report through the Access to
Information Act, which disclosed that the 2010 Winter Olympics “could lead to an increase in
student-visa fraud as people in the sex trade recruited young women from overseas to work as
prostitutes during the event.” The CBSA spokesperson did not comment on “what, if any steps
the agency [was] taking to prevent the trafficking of foreign women during the Olympics, other
than to say the agency [was] constantly on guard for immigration infractions.” A June 2006
CBSA report further linked “elements within the international student population” to “serious
risks to public safety and national security while they are in Canada,” such as “drug trafficking,
firearms offences, prostitution and human smuggling.” There was, however, no further
discussion in the print media of this potential risk.41 In addition, in May 2009, the HTNCC began
discussions with the San Francisco-based Craigslist concerning its exotic services section, which
had been identified by some anti-trafficking groups as “a portal for the sale of victims of human
trafficking in Canada.” After pressure from provincial and federal officials, Craigslist removed
the “erotic services” section from its Canadian websites in December 2010.42
In the area of assistance and protection of transnational trafficked persons, Citizenship and
Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced, in May 2006, a special 120-day fee-exempt temporary
resident permit (TRP) for trafficked persons, which included access to healthcare services and
counseling through the Interim Federal Health Program. In June 2007, the duration of the permits
was extended to 180 days and recipients were extended the option of applying for a fee-exempt
work permit. In addition, trafficked persons who have held a TRP for five years may qualify to
stay in Canada permanently under the permit holders’ class. At any point in time, a trafficked
person may also make a refugee claim, or apply for humanitarian and compassionate
consideration to become a permanent resident.43 Furthermore, in the year prior to the
commencement of 2010 Olympic Games, Public Safety Canada and the RCMP entered into a
partnership with Canadian Crime Stoppers and launched an initiative designed to encourage
members of the public to report suspected cases of transnational and domestic human trafficking.
Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, officially announced the launch of the “Blue Blindfold”
campaign on 7 September 2010.44
41
Chad Skelton, “Border cops fear hookers could enter on student visas in 2010 Olympics,” Vancouver Sun, 1
August 2007; “Winter Olympics sex demand could increase visa fraud: report,” Ottawa Citizen, 1 August 2007.
42
Camille Bains, “Craigslist discussing changes to its online sex ads in Canada,” Globe and Mail, 18 May 2009;
Derek Abma, “Craigslist deletes ‘erotic services’ from Canadian sites, racy ads remain,” Ottawa Citizen, 18
December 2010.
43
See http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/trp.asp.
44
Joanna Smith, “Feds launch human trafficking awareness campaign,” thestar.com, 7 September 2010.
18
Over the last decade, various federal departments have also contracted researchers to investigate
different components of trafficking in persons in the Canadian context. Status of Women Canada
commissioned five studies in 1999, all of which focused on transnational human trafficking;45 in
2002 and 2004, the RCMP contracted researchers to examine the role of organized crime in
transnational human trafficking/smuggling;46 in 2005, the Department of Justice commissioned a
study on assistance and support needs of transnational and domestic trafficked persons, including
Aboriginal women and girls, from the perspective of Canadian frontline service workers;47 and,
in 2008, Public Safety Canada entered into a contribution agreement with the International
Bureau for Children’s Rights who prepared a research paper entitled, “Child Trafficking in
Canada: An Overview,” that explored the phenomenon of child trafficking in Canada, including
the role of key stakeholders in the area of prevention. Furthermore, reports produced by various
federal departments have offered periodic assessments of the patterns and scope of transnational
and/or domestic trafficking in the Canadian context. These have included United States-Canada:
Bi-National Assessment of Trafficking in Persons (2006), prepared jointly by the Department of
Justice Canada, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, Department of Foreign
Affairs and International Trade, the U.S. Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center, the U.S
Departments of Justice and Homeland Security; Organized Crime and Domestic Trafficking in
Persons in Canada (2008), a strategic intelligence brief compiled by the Criminal Intelligence
Service Canada that provided an overview and analysis of the role of well-organized crime
networks in the trafficking of “Canadian-born women and under-age girls inter and intraprovincially, and in some instances to the United States (US), destined for the sex trade”48; and
Human Trafficking in Canada (2010), produced by RCMP Criminal Intelligence in collaboration
with HTNCC.
In light of the aforementioned federal priorities and initiatives, the research team reviewed the
websites of all federal government departments represented on the IWGTIP in February/March
2010. Taking into account that departments have varying roles on the Interdepartmental Working
Group, the Department of Justice, the RCMP, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Canada
Border Services, Public Safety Canada, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada in
particular provide publicly accessible information on human trafficking. Since partnering with
Public Safety and the RCMP, Crime Stoppers also posted information on trafficking in persons
on its website. In addition, in the lead up to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the Citizenship
and Immigration Canada website provided specific information on human trafficking as it
45
Toronto Network Against Trafficking in Women et al., Trafficking in Women Including Thai Migrant Sex
Workers in Canada (2000); Louise Langevin and Marie-Claude Belleau, Trafficking in Women in Canada: A
Critical Analysis of the Legal Framework Governing Immigrant Live-in Caregivers and Mail-Order Brides (2000);
Lynn MacDonald et al., Migrant Sex Workers from Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: The Canadian
Case (2000); the Philippine Women’s Centre of B.C., Canada: The New Frontier for Filipino Mail-Order Brides
(2000); and GAATW Canada, Transnational Migration, Trafficking in Women, and Human Rights: The Canadian
Dimension (2001).
46
Christine Bruckert and Colette Parent, “Trafficking in Human Beings and Organized Crime: A Literature Review”
(2002) and “Organized Crime and Human Trafficking in Canada: Tracing Perceptions and Discourses” (2004).
47
Jacqueline Oxman-Martinez et al., Victims of Trafficking in Persons: Perspectives from the Canadian Community
Sector (August 2005).
48
Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, Organized Crime and Domestic Trafficking in Canada (19 December
2008), 1-5.
19
pertained to the Games, including the availability of temporary resident permits.49 There was no
information on trafficking in persons within the context of the 2010 Olympic Games on the
federal government’s Canada Games.ca website, but information on the Vancouver 2010
Integrated Security Unit was provided.
Human trafficking has also been a focus of attention among federal ministers and the years
leading up to the 2010 Olympics were no exception. In early December 2006, Joy Smith,
Conservative MP for Kildonan-St. Paul, introduced a motion in the House of Commons calling
on the government “to immediately adopt a comprehensive strategy to combat the trafficking of
persons worldwide,” which would tackle cross-border trafficking into the sex trade in Canada
and the trafficking of Canadian women and youth to other countries. Lending further urgency to
her motion, she emphasized that “major sporting events, such as Olympic Games, are havens for
human trafficking, with criminals bringing young women into the cities ahead of time to sell sex
to visitors and athletes” and that the 2010 Olympic Games “will be no different.”50 In addition,
after a round of consultations with various stakeholders (law enforcement, immigration, NGOs,
faith-based groups, and academics), the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on the Status
of Women Canada released a report in February 2007, entitled Turning Outrage into Action to
Address Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation in Canada, which included 33
recommendations. While recognizing that “trafficking of persons across international borders
also has significant implications for Canada,” the Standing Committee’s main focus was on
domestic trafficking and particularly the trafficking of Aboriginal women and girls into the sex
industry. In addition, even though the Committee acknowledged that human trafficking occurred
in various labour sites, it “considered that the particularly egregious abuse and degradation
involved in trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation warranted the Committee’s full
attention.” In defining prostitution as “closely linked to trafficking in persons,” the Committee
recommended that counter-trafficking efforts in the areas of prevention, protection, and
prosecution be significantly enhanced. As reported in the Toronto Star, during the course of the
hearings, several witnesses who testified before the Standing Committee argued that Canada
would face “an ‘explosion’” in cross-border “human trafficking in the run-up to the 2010 Winter
Olympics, with women brought in from abroad to work as prostitutes.” They called for “Canada
to boost measures to combat the illegal trade,” by allocating more resources to law enforcement,
community groups, foreign aid, and education of potential and future clients of sex workers.51
Three months later, Bill C-57 was introduced in the House of Commons, which would amend
IRPA and grant immigration officers discretionary power “to refuse to authorize foreign
nationals to work in Canada if they are deemed to be at risk of … being subjected to humiliating
or degrading treatment, including sexual exploitation” or to be “vulnerable to human
49
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, “The Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games: Frequently
Asked Questions” at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english//2010games/faq.asp#tphp %20idtphp.
50
“MP calls for action to combat human trafficking,” Canwest News Service, 8 December 2006; Jennifer Ditchburn,
“Bill targets human trafficking,” Globe and Mail, 9 December 2006, and “MP tackles trafficking of people,”
Winnipeg Free Press, 9 December 2006.
51
Canada, House of Commons, Standing Committee on the Status of Women, Turning Outrage into Action to
Address Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation in Canada (February 2007), 1, 5, 15-16; Bruce CampionSmith, “Olympics a magnet for sex traffickers; Activists warn of ‘explosion’ of illicit trade in women,” Toronto
Star, 22 November 2006.
20
trafficking.” Although not explicitly stated in the proposed Bill, the then Minister of Citizenship
and Immigration made it clear that this amendment was mainly directed at “foreign women”
applying for the controversial temporary exotic dancers work visas. While the proposed Bill
drew criticism from various sectors (including exotic dancers advocacy groups, strip club
owners, and the Canadian Council for Refugees), the amendment was reintroduced as Bill C-45
in June 2009.52 In January 2009, Joy Smith, Conservative MP, introduced Bill C-268, an Act to
amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offences involving trafficking of persons under
the age of eighteen years). The bill was passed in the House of Commons on 30 September 2009
and, despite Mrs. Smith’s hope that it would be passed prior to the Vancouver Olympics, the Bill
faced some opposition in Senate, but did pass in June 2010.53 Finally, in a November 2009
statement on the risk of an increase in human trafficking during the Olympic Games, Public
Safety Minister Peter Van Loan took a more cautionary tone, asserting that “We have not seen
any evidence of any special human trafficking plans that organized crime, say, might be utilizing
around the Olympics, but it is a focus of our attention.”54
Provincial Level
Given that British Columbia and more specifically Vancouver were identified as areas in which
trafficking in persons was prevalent, on 1-4 November 2004, the National Crime Prevention
Centre in the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (in conjunction with the
BC Assistant Deputy Minister’s Committee on Prostitution and the Sexual Exploitation of
Youth) hosted two roundtables – the Vancouver Roundtable on Trafficking in Persons which
focused on both transnational and domestic trafficking, as well as the BC Research Roundtable
which focused on adult prostitution, youth sexual exploitation, the over-representation of
Aboriginal women and youth in the sex trade, and the prevalence of violence in the industry. At
this point, the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games as a possible magnet for both transnational and
domestic human trafficking was not yet on the national or provincial agenda.55 In addition, on 8
December 2006, in a major joint operation, 200 RCMP and Vancouver police officers as well as
members of the Integrated Border Enforcement Team conducted a raid of 18 massage parlours
located in Coquitlam, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby, and Vancouver, all of which were suspected
of being connected to “the sex trade, organized crime and human trafficking operations.” Of the
52
Laura Barnett, Law and Government Division, “Bill C-57: An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee
Protection Act,” Library of Parliament, Parliamentary Information and Research Services, Legislative Summaries,
LS-557E, 24 July 2007; Ibid., “Bill C-17: An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act,” LS-571E,
2 November 2007. In a pre-2010 Vancouver Olympics “Position Paper on Human Trafficking for Sexual
Exploitation,” in which it advocated for a strengthened “victim-centred” approach among lawmakers and service
providers, West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) also expressed opposition to the Bill. West Coast
LEAF, “Position Paper on Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation” (October 2009), 8-9.
53
Daniel Leblanc, “Tory attack suggests Bloc soft on pedophiles,” Globe and Mail, 3 July 2009; Mia Rabson, “MP
worries that child-trafficking bill won’t pass before Olympics; Manitoba’s Joy Smith wants minimum jail sentence
for offenders,” Vancouver Sun, 16 December 2009 and “MP lashes out at senators over trafficking,” Winnipeg Free
Press, 17 December 2009; Tamara Cherry, “Human trafficking bill passes Senate,” Toronto Sun, 17 June 2010.
54
“Canadian government gears to curb human trafficking during Olympics,” Canada Updates, 26 November 2009.
55
National Crime Prevention Centre, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada, Vancouver
Roundtable on Trafficking in Persons (TIP), 1-4 November 2004: Roundtable Report (2004). Prepared by Sarah
Hunt.
21
78 women identified, none were deemed to be trafficked persons or in contravention of IRPA.
While enforcement officials maintained that until full interviews could be conducted to
determine if the women were potential trafficked persons or possible perpetuators, certain
procedures needed to be followed, critics emphasized that the women were arrested, handcuffed,
photographed, and interrogated in violation of their privacy rights and their immediate and future
entitlement to work was significantly disrupted. One NGO further indicated that its outreach
work among women working in the massage parlours was also severely interrupted. These raids
were not, however, couched as a pre-Olympic Games operation.56
In July 2007, the BC Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP) was established under
the auspices of BC’s Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. Its mandate is to assume
overall coordination of British Columbia’s strategy to address human trafficking. In that
capacity, the office has developed partnerships with various provincial ministries, federal
departments, municipal governments, law enforcement agencies, and NGOs in an effort to
provide “an integrated and permanent response to human trafficking in B.C.” based on the 4 Ps
approach. In addition, on 29-30 October 2008, OCTIP hosted an international conference in
Vancouver, “Combating Human Trafficking: Cooperating to Build Best Practices in BC and
Beyond,” which featured speakers from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and
Canada. In the lead up to the 2010 Olympic Games, media reports indicated that OCTIP staff,
like local law enforcement (the RCMP and the Vancouver Police Department), were cautious in
making public predictions about an increase in human trafficking prior to and during the event.
While taking a business as usual approach during this period, OCTIP staff did, however, engage
in extensive public education about human trafficking, as well as in the training of frontline
service workers in the region. The Office also produced reference pocket cards, which were
distributed among service providers; the cards are available in 12 languages and contain
information about human trafficking, including OCTIP’s toll free number.57
56
On the December 2006 raids, see Kim Bolan, “18 massage parlours raided, 100 arrested,” Vancouver Sun, 9
December 2006; Matthew Ramsey, “Police raids on massage parlours net 108 arrests,” The Province (Vancouver),
10 December 2006; “35 women arrested in massage parlour raids: 18 men also arrested in RCMP crackdown,”
Richmond News, 12 December 2006; Kim Bolan and Doug Ward, “Massage parlours keep operating,” Vancouver
Sun, 13 December 2006; Jennifer Saltman, “Four massage parlours raided here,” Coquitlam Now (New
Westminster), 13 December 2006 and “Tri-Cities massage parlours remain closed after raid,” Coquitlam Now, 15
December 2006; Eve Edmonds, “Women’s groups slam brothel raid: Police crackdown isn’t the answer, they say,”
Richmond News, 19 December 2006; Jody Paterson, “Raiding massage parlours won’t solve anything,” TimesColonist (Victoria), 15 December 2006; Ian Mulgrew, “The RCMP got it wrong with raids on massage parlours,”
Vancouver Sun, 13 December 2006. Outreach work among women massage parlour workers has been conducted by
the ORCHID Project: Outreach and Research in Community Health Initiatives and Development since 2004.
57
For more details on OCTIP and its work, see http://pssg.gov.bc.ca/octip/about.htm and BC’s Office to Combat
Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP), Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General – 3 Year Status Report, July 1,
2007 – June 30, 2010. For statements made by local law enforcement, see, for example, Michelle Hopkins,
“Slavery of the 21st century; Forum on human trafficking will raise public awareness of tragic issue,” Richmond
News, 11 March 2008; Jeff Lee, “Group raises awareness of human trafficking,” Vancouver Sun, 8 January 2009;
Derek Spalding, “Trafficking humans still big problem; Police know it goes on, but charges are difficult to prove,”
Nanaimo Daily News, 23 February 2009; Damian Inwood, “Sex-trade trafficking unlikely to rise; Study says such an
influx failed to materialize at other sporting events,” The Province (Vancouver), 12 June 2009; “New anti-sextrafficking campaign before Games: police,” CBC News, 28 September 2009; Ethan Baron, “Sex and the Olympics:
The world brings its vice to Vancouver,” The Province (Vancouver), 31 January 2010.
22
In reviewing pertinent provincial and municipal websites, and with the exception of general
information on human trafficking included on the OCTIP website, relevant BC ministries, law
enforcement agencies (the Vancouver Police Department and the RCMP Integrated Security
Unit), and VANOC did not post specific information on human trafficking in the context of the
2010 Winter Olympic Games.
VI. Media and Online Information: Pre-Olympic Anti-Trafficking Discourses and
Campaigns on the Lower Mainland
Vancouver received the bid for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Game in July 2003.
Analysis of the national and local print media suggests that NGO and public concerns about an
anticipated spike in transnational and increasingly domestic trafficking for the purpose of sexual
exploitation during this mega sporting event began to emerge in early June 2006 – one week
before the much-scrutinized FIFA World Cup commenced in Germany (9 June to 9 July 2006).58
In the years leading up to the Olympic Games, there were two main Vancouver-based coalitions
that initiated campaigns that were designed to address what each perceived would constitute the
most critical side-effects of hosting the Olympic Games. The first coalition included sex worker
organizations and advocates that concentrated on devising strategies to enhance sex worker
safety during the event and advocated for sex worker input and participation in the development
of anti-trafficking campaigns and initiatives. The other consisted of abolitionist, faith-based, and
affiliated groups that warned that there was a significant risk of a surge in ‘sex trafficking’ prior
and during the Games, lobbied the federal and provincial governments to augment their human
trafficking prevention and intervention measures, and sought to raise public awareness about
how an expected spike in male sexual demand for paid sexual services during the event would
fuel both transnational and domestic trafficking of women and youth into Vancouver’s sex
industry. It is difficult to establish the extent to which the international media picked up and
reported on these ideologically opposed campaigns and the attendant debates. A database and
internet search of key English-language newspapers in the United States and in Europe suggests
that, unlike the 2006 FIFA World Cup, this was a fairly localized debate in the context of British
Columbia and to a lesser extent in Canada.
Sex Worker Safety: Cooperative Brothel Campaign and Harm Reduction
In November 2007, a group of Vancouver sex workers affiliated with the BC Coalition of
Experiential Communities (later renamed the West Coast Co-operative of Sex Industry
Professionals) announced that, in anticipation of the 2010 Olympic Games and subject to the
approval of the federal government, they hoped to establish a cooperative brothel in the city on
an experimental basis for a two-year period. In the longer term, the group envisioned opening
four more brothels as a way to provide adult sex workers (women, men, and transgendered) with
a “safer working environment when the world comes to visit in 2010.” NGO and political
58
See, for example, Camille Bains, “Human trafficking could be huge issue during 2010 Olympics: women’s
groups,” Nelson Daily News, 2 June 2006.
23
supporters of the creation of a collaboratively owned and “worker-controlled safe space to
conduct sex work” maintained that the initiative would offer one mechanism to reduce the
violence experienced by street-based sex workers, provide access to an array of support services,
occupational health and safety training, and minimum labour standards, and address concerns
about the possible impact of enhanced security and traffic rerouting during the Olympics Games
on street-based sex workers, such as displacement “into more isolated areas.”59 Critics of the
proposal, however, argued at public forums and in the media that the creation of brothels would
not reduce violence and abuse in the sex industry; rather such a move would entrench and
normalize prostitution, legitimize the operations of “pimps and traffickers,” and contribute to
creating the conditions for a spike in ‘sex trafficking’ during the 2010 Olympic Games. As an
alternative strategy, they called for a legal crackdown on “pimps, johns, and those running
unofficial prostitution rings such as massage parlours and escort services,” as well as
comprehensive social and economic supports to assist women in the sex trade, such as
“education and employment strategies for marginalized women, more female-specific de-tox
beds, affordable housing, comprehensive exit programs, and preventative education
campaigns.”60 In February 2008, the federal Justice Minister announced that the Conservative
government was “not in the business of legalizing brothels” and would not approve the
initiative.61
Other Vancouver-based sex worker organizations focused their attention on strategies to address
the safety of their constituents during the 2010 Olympic Games. PACE, for example, announced
plans to offer media training sessions for sex workers in November 2009. These sessions would
cover such issues as sex trade workers’ rights around media, public photography and interview
consent.62 In addition, in June 2009, WISH Drop-In Center and PACE mounted a successful
campaign for the restoration of provincial funding of the Mobile Access Project (MAP) van,
which patrols the Downtown Eastside “seven nights a week from 10:30 pm to 5:30 am.” Paid
59
Joyce Arthur and Tamara O’Doherty, “A 2010 deadline for prostitution; Decriminalization and a sex worker
cooperative in time for the Games would provide safety and equal rights,” Vancouver Sun, 6 December 2007; Jody
Paterson, “Sex workers should be able to ply their trade in safety; Prostitutes deserve a safe workplace just like any
other worker,” The Gazette (Montreal), 4 February 2008; “Prostitutes win right to form business co-op,” Vancouver
Sun, 16 February 2008; Peter Tupper, “Vancouver’s Sex Trade, 2010,” The Tyee, 12 August 2008.
60
See, for example, Jeff Lee, “Coalition pushes for legal brothel; Ottawa’s support sought for safe, prostitute-run
facility that would cater to Olympic visitors,” Vancouver Sun, 12 November 2007; Daphne Bramham, “2010 will
make city a magnet for human trafficking,” Vancouver Sun, 10 November 2007, and “An army declares war against
human trafficking,” Vancouver Sun, 8 December 2007; Joan Delaney, “2010 Olympics Could Boost Human
Trafficking,” The Epoch Times, 12 December 2007; Janet Bagnell, “Sex should not be for sale at the Olympics,”
Ottawa Citizen, 4 February 2008; Deborah Gyapong, “Vancouver Olympics committee must prevent human
trafficking,” Western Catholic Reporter, 18 February 2008; “Should Prostitution be Legalized Before the 2010
Olympics,” Stop Trafficking! Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter, Vol. 6, No. 5 (May 2008): 5; Lori Culbert, “Act
now to stop sex trade boom, group says; Transition house members opposed to initiative to create legal brothel for
Winter Games,” Vancouver Sun, 30 May 2008; Lori Culbert, “Canada needs to do more to protect women,
Vancouver meeting told,” Vancouver Sun, 3 December 2008; Suzanne Fournier, “Games expected to fuel
‘trafficking’ of prostitutes,” The Province (Vancouver), 4 December 2008.
61
Christina Montgomery, “No ‘co-op’ brothel before the Games, say Tories,” The Province (Vancouver), 8
February 2008. For a critical response to this decision, see Joyce Arthur, “Political posturing won’t protect sex
workers,” Vancouver Sun, 12 February 2008.
62
“Sex workers offered media training before 2010,” Canadian Press, 18 May 2009.
24
staff “dispense coffee, juice, conversation, along with condoms and clean needles to sex-trade
workers,” and in general, the project has played a crucial role in providing outreach and support
services for street-based sex workers in the neighbourhood.63 Finally, in June 2009, a research
study, entitled Human Trafficking, Sex Work Safety and the 2010 Games, which was funded by
OCTIP and the Vancouver Police Department and commissioned by Vancouver’s Sex Industry
Worker Safety Action Group (SIWSAG), argued that the link between mega sporting events and
an increase in human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation was not substantiated by
evidence from previous international events. Among its recommendations, the report called for a
“broad-based” public awareness campaign on trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual
exploitation” prior to the 2010 Olympic Games, with a focus on “prevention, early detection and
intervention.” It also recommended a number of concrete measures designed to address sex
worker safety, the potential harmful effects of the Games’ enhanced security apparatus, such as
the displacement, increased isolation, and criminalization of street-based sex workers, and the
need to achieve a balance between enforcement and rights in human trafficking interventions. In
these latter cases, direct collaboration among sex worker organizations, community groups,
enforcement officials, local government, and emergency responders was identified as critical.64
Deterring Human Trafficking and Curbing Male Sexual Demand
In the four years leading up to the 2010 Olympic Games, growing concerns among NGOs and
faith-based groups about the heightened risk of transnational and domestic human trafficking for
the purpose of sexual exploitation prior to and during the event generated a number of separate
campaigns and initiatives. In its 2007 report, Faster, Higher, Stronger: Preventing Human
Trafficking at the 2010 Olympics, the Future Group recommended that the federal and British
Columbia governments, in conjunction with OCTIP, adopt a four-pronged approach to address
the risk: “deterring traffickers and potential sex users through effective public awareness
campaigns before, during, and after the Olympics”; “disrupting trafficking networks and
prosecuting traffickers through a coordinated and pro-active law enforcement response at the
local, provincial and federal levels”; “preventing human trafficking and enhancing border
integrity,” which would include training of border security agents in identification; and ensuring
that appropriate protection measures for trafficked persons were available should the need
arise.65 In a similar vein, a April 2009 report released by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
in Ottawa entitled, Human Trafficking: A Report on Modern Day Slavery in Canada, urged the
63
“Project that helps Vancouver prostitutes in jeopardy,” Canadian Press, 21 March 2009; Diana Szpotowicz,
“Province pulls funding for sex worker support van,” ctvbc.ca, 24 June 2009.
64
Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group (SIWSAG), Human Trafficking, Sex Work Safety and the 2010 Games:
Assessments and Recommendations (June 2009); “Researchers find no rise in prostitution during sports events,”
Globe and Mail, 12 June 2009; Joyce Arthur, “Facts and fictions about sex trafficking and Vancouver’s 2010
Olympics,” straight.com, 15 June 2009; Peter McKnight, “Forced prostitution and sports a weak link; Little
evidence supports rumours of human trafficking at Athens Olympics and the 2006 World Cup,” Vancouver Sun, 20
June 2009.
65
The Future Group, Faster, Higher, Stronger, 4, 7, and 17. The Future Group’s recommendations were formally
endorsed in two resolutions: The Catholic Women’s League of Canada, B.C. and Yukon Provincial Council,
“Resolution – 2008.01: Preventing Human Trafficking at 2010 Olympics” (2008); and Canadian Federation of
Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, “Resolution #2008/2: Human Trafficking 2010 Olympics Vancouver
BC,” Submission to the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada (September 2008), 3.
25
Canadian government to enhance its efforts and invest more resources in the areas of prevention,
prosecution, and protection in the lead up to the Olympic Games, and in a joint statement issued
in December 2009, Anglican and Roman bishops in Vancouver expressed “concerns that human
trafficking may cast a shadow over the Winter Olympics.”66 Finally, the Citizens’ Summit on
Human Trafficking, a coalition of 23 Vancouver-based organizations and individuals, released a
declaration, “One Too Many,” in April 2009, in which it advocated, among other demands, two
preventative measures to address the predicted increase in male demand for “paid sex” during the
Games. These included an agreement “between Craigslist and the RCMP/Department of Justice”
to establish “a system to monitor and track online postings back to users in the case of human
trafficking investigations”; and “the establishment of educational materials directed to men on
the consequences of human trafficking including criminal penalties. This could take the form of
a warning card, distributed at borders alongside visitor’s permits, at social gathering venues or
mailed in ticket packages for Olympic events.”67
In addition to lobbying the federal and provincial governments, faith-based groups focused their
energies on raising public awareness about the risk of human trafficking within the context of the
2010 Winter Olympic Games. In November 2007, a conference, sponsored by Catholic,
Anglican, Salvation Army, and other faith-based groups, was held in Vancouver to discuss
human trafficking, “the darker side of the Olympics,” and the role of religious institutions in
education and prevention.68 This was followed by a public awareness forum entitled, Human
Trafficking – Why?” held at Richmond’s St. Joseph the Worker Church Hall in March 2008.69 In
January 2009, the Canadian Religious Conference, which represents superiors of Canadian
Catholic congregations, announced that it had created 1,000 kits, “We are a Global Village –
Human Trafficking and the 2010 Olympics Games,” in English and French to be distributed to
among secondary students. “In this kit,” said one representative, “we are trying to sensitize
secondary school students as to the root causes and to make them aware as to why they should
pressure governments to do as much as they can to eliminate trafficking.”70
Two public awareness campaigns in particular generated considerable local attention. The first
was the “Buying Sex is Not a Sport” campaign, which was officially launched by REED, a
Christian-based organization, in May 2009 and focused on stemming “the tide of human
trafficking” during the 2010 Winter Olympics by directly targeting “male demand” for paid
sexual services. Prior to and during the Olympics, REED and its partnering groups sought to
raise awareness about this connection through community-based public and media forums (of
which 12 were held on the Lower Mainland, Edmonton, and Toronto between May 2009 and
February 2010), posters, t-shirts, buttons, as well as silent direct actions at various venues during
66
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Human Trafficking: A Report on Modern Day Slavery in Canada (Ottawa,
April 2009); Charles Boyd, “Canadian Bishops Warn Against Human Trafficking at Winter Olympics,” The
Christian Post, 2 December 2009.
67
“One Is Too Many: A Citizens’ Summit on Human Trafficking at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games and
Beyond” (released online, April 2009).
68
Ruth Vince, “Human trafficking targeted,” Winnipeg Free Press, 4 November 2007.
69
Michelle Hopkins, “Slavery of the 21st century; Forum on human trafficking will raise public awareness of tragic
issue,” Richmond News, 11 March 2008.
70
Jeff Lee, “Group raises awareness of human trafficking,” Vancouver Sun, 8 January 2009.
26
the Olympics; for example, one was held outside of the No. 5 Orange Club on 13 February and
another outside of Canada Hockey Place on 21 February. These silent protests, however, drew
criticism from one exotic dancer, who argued that “spreading the message that exotic dancers in
Vancouver are sex slaves” was not only “demeaning,” but it also put “dancers at risk” and
interfered “with their ability to make a living.”71 The other was the Salvation Army’s
controversial “The Truth Isn’t Sexy” campaign which was launched in Vancouver in the fall of
2008. In an effort to raise awareness about the “face of sex trafficking,” it included billboard,
transit shelter, and men’s washroom ads depicting women being brutalized by “pimps” and
“traffickers.” Another series of ads were directed at the “demand side of the equation: johns,”
and featured an image of a young woman, a letter addressed to “dear john,” and a tag line, “i am
slave. save me.”72 Without diminishing the seriousness of trafficking in persons, Vancouverbased sex worker activists and advocacy organizations, as will be discussed in greater detail
below, were critical of this “shock and awe” campaign and were concerned about its effects on
local sex workers.73
Summary Discussion
As indicated by the above overview, there was no coordinated effort at the grassroots level to
address trafficking in persons prior to and during the 2010 Olympic Games. As presented in the
national and print media, the two main coalitions involved were clearly ideologically divided on
prostitution/sex work, held divergent understandings of what constitutes trafficking in persons,
and advocated conflicting strategies to address sex worker safety and human trafficking for the
purpose of sexual exploitation. Furthermore, with the exception of Senator Mobina Jaffer’s
public interventions on the issue of forced labour and some newspaper coverage of the Canada
Line case involving the exploitation of Latin American workers, the possibility of trafficking in
persons into other labour sites (for example, in transportation and sports infrastructure
construction, and hospitality services) connected with the Olympic Games did not receive the
same degree of media attention and stakeholder scrutiny.74 There also did not appear to be
extensive public monitoring of or concern about the working conditions under which Third
World and particularly Chinese workers produced the various consumer goods available at
71
For full details of this campaign, see http://embracedignity.org/. See also Daphne Bramham, “Former prostitute
fighting to ban sex trade from 2010 Olympics,” Nelson Daily News, 3 June 2009; Sandra Thomas, “Exotic dancer
denounces protest,” Vancouver Courier, 26 February 2010.
72
Eve Lazarus, “Salvation Army Renews Hard-Hitting Sex Traffic Ads,” Marketer News, 30 September 2009.
Examples of the ads included in this campaign can be accessed at http://www.mercercreative.com/OurActivism/Salvation-Army or at http://www.thetruthisntsexy.ca/.
73
See, for example, BC Coalition of Experiential Communities, “Salvation Army Tells Untruths,” 16 December
2008; Mark Hasiuk, “Pro-prostitution lobby wages war on Salvation Army; Protesters will target prayer vigils,
Vancouver Courier, 9 September 2009; Kelly Sinoski, “Sex trade workers decry Salvation Army posters: Graphic
Images wrongly portray them as slaves, they say,” Vancouver Sun, 25 September 2009; Esther Shannon, FIRST,
“Rights Not Rescue: An Open Letter to the Salvation Army,” rabble.ca, 24 September 2009; Canada News,
“Vancouver sex workers angry at Sally Ann ads,” 7 October 2009.
74
Senator Mobina Jaffer, “2010 Olympics: Foreign Sex Trafficking Not Really the Main Concern – It’s About
Forced Labour” (10 December 2008).
27
Olympic venues and online based on international labour standards and the principles of ethical
purchasing practices.75
VII. Interview Data: Key Findings
With the above background in mind, this section provides a sector and thematic analysis of the
key findings GAATW researchers gleaned from the 61 telephone, in-person, and e-mail
interviews conducted between February and August 2010.
Pre-Olympic Preparation and Priorities: Federal, Regional, Provincial, and Local
Anti-Trafficking Measures and Initiatives
The research team contacted 32 federal informants, including representatives of various federal
departments who sit on the IWGTIP, as well as politicians and senators involved in national
discussions on human trafficking and legislative initiatives in Canada. In total, we conducted 13
telephone and e-mail interviews and received information from one additional contact at the
federal level. In some instances where several members of one federal department sit on the
IWGTIP, one representative was identified as the spokesperson for that department for the
purposes of this research. While recognizing that the portfolios of members of federal
departments represented on the IWGTIP vary, the research team did not speak to members of all
federal departments due to a lack of response to our letters of invitation; in one case, significant
personnel shifts inhibited participation. Nonetheless, researchers did interview one federal
politician as well as representatives from key departments involved in specific aspects of federal
anti-trafficking initiatives, including preparations for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. These
included Public Safety Canada, Justice Canada, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA),
Citizenship and Immigration (CIC), RCMP, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
(HRSDC), and Statistics Canada. In addition, out of 8 regional CBSA, CIC, and RCMP
representatives contacted, researchers conducted interviews with 2 Vancouver-based CIC
officials and 2 members of the RCMP E Division, Immigration and Passport Unit, in order to
obtain a more local perspective.76 Finally, 11 representatives from various BC government and
other agencies and 3 members of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) were contacted; inperson or telephone interviews were conducted with 7 staff members in four provincial offices,
and with 2 VPD officers.77
75
Tom Sandborn, “Ethical Buying Gains Steam: York U signs on as activists pressure 2010 Olympics organizers,”
The Tyee, 18 March 2008. It should be noted that with respect to its BuySmart program, VANOC did comply with
some of the recommendations made by Ethical Trading Action Group and the Maquila Solidarity Network as part of
the international Play Fair campaign. See “Making the Vancouver 2010 Olympics Sweat-Free” available at
http://en.maquilasolidarity.org/node/811.
76
One RCMP E Division, Immigration and Passport Unit officer contacted was unavailable and could not
participate in this study, and the three regional CBSA officers contacted either declined to be interviewed and
deferred to their federal colleagues, or did not respond to our letters of invitation.
77
Representatives from four provincial agencies contacted did not respond to our letters of invitation, and one VPD
officer contacted deferred to a colleague who had greater expertise in the field of human trafficking.
28
Federal and Regional Levels
Most federal government officials interviewed were very cognizant of “significant stakeholder
and parliamentary interest in the potential relationship between the 2010 Vancouver Olympics
and trafficking in persons” as well as concerns articulated by some NGOs, faith-based groups,
and private citizens about an anticipated increase in human trafficking, particularly for the
purpose of sexual exploitation, prior to and during the event.78 Media reports and a high volume
of letters written to federal ministers were cited as key sources of information. In terms of
reference points for strategic planning prior the Games, a number of federal contacts indicated
that they relied on internal intelligence data as well as available information on the lessons
learned and preventative measures implemented by nations that had hosted previous international
sporting events.79 Based on these data, federal interviewees in general remained cautious about
making definitive predictions about whether the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games would
precipitate an increase in transnational and domestic human trafficking. Noting that mega
sporting events do generate the short term transnational as well as inter- and intra-provincial
movements of people as athletes, spectators, and workers, some did point out that available
information suggested a low risk of an increase in human trafficking, particularly transnational
trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation, prior to and during the 2010 Olympic Games. One
of the main reasons identified was that existing evidence indicated that human traffickers tend to
operate in and to prefer low risk and high profit environments; higher levels of security, an
increased law enforcement presence, the short duration of the event, and a more family-centred
fan base particularly at Winter Olympics would not provide optimum conditions.80 In fact, one
RCMP E Division, Immigration and Passport Unit officer pointed out that he had interviewed
two “traffickers” prior to the Olympic Games and asked them about the feasibility of trafficking
women for the purpose of sexual exploitation to the Lower Mainland for the event. The response
he received was as follows:
“They said, are you crazy? Why would I bring girls here to the most expensive city in North
America to work an event that is a family event … They said do you have any idea about how
much it costs to set up an apartment here. It’s $6,000 normally, but during the Olympics, if you
want me to set up a bawdy house here, it is going to be $25,000 for two and a half weeks. I am
going to fly girls in here and it is a family event and there’s not going to be a lineup of guys.
That’s insane. It would be a money- losing venture … It’s not like you can walk into Richmond
78
For example, Derrick Deans, Manager, Strategic Policy Branch, CIC, E-Mail Interview, 14 April 2010; Taunya
Goguen, Chief, National Strategies Division, Public Safety Canada, Telephone Interview, 16 February 2010; Pamela
Matthews, Policy Analyst, National Strategies Division, Public Safety Canada, Telephone Interview, 9 March 2010;
Marie-Claude Arsenault, Immigration and Passport Branch, RCMP, E-Mail Interview, 22 June 2010.
79
For example, Deans, CIC; Arsenault, RCMP; Goguen, Public Safety.
80
Deans, CIC; Selina Olson, Senior Policy Advisor, CBSA, Telephone Interview, 27 February 2010; Arsenault,
RCMP; Sanjaya Wijayakoon, Immigration and Passport Unit, RCMP E Division, Telephone Interview, 30 March
2010; Officer, Immigration and Passport Unit, RCMP E Division, Telephone Interview, 24 August 2010. As noted
in one interview, however, this scenario would not eliminate the possibility of increased illegal activities in other
areas of the country where border security and law enforcement maintained normal, but not heightened, operations.
Goguen, Public Safety.
29
and rent a three bedroom condo to set up a bawdy house with these trafficked women for two
and a half weeks and make a ton of money.”81
That said, interviews with federal contacts and regional partners indicated that, even though the
level of trafficking in persons awareness, information sharing, and coordination between federal
departments and relevant provincial and regional agencies had increased in recent years,82 the
IWGTIP and, in particular, a smaller working group comprised of key federal departments began
strategic planning and preparation two years prior to the commencement of the 2010 Vancouver
Olympic Games.83 Some anti-trafficking measures initiated during this period and discussed in
interviews were identified as integral to ongoing and broader national and regional efforts and
other initiatives were targeted and designed to accommodate the unique attributes of Olympic
Games on the Lower Mainland. In other words, with respect to the 4 P’s (prevention,
prosecution, protection, and partnerships), the hosting of this mega sporting event on the Lower
Mainland created a context in which existing strategic approaches and established operational
procedures were built upon and reinforced, and some planned initiatives were expedited in
British Columbia, all with an eye to sustainability and the continued strengthening of responses
after the conclusion of the Games.84 While Public Safety and Justice Canada were instrumental
in providing dedicated funding for a number of anti-trafficking initiatives,85 in general, the key
measures developed and implemented in the pre-Olympic Games period were designed to ensure
that a solid, proactive, and multi-faceted strategy was in place - to anticipate, plan, prepare, and
respond if needed to a possible increase in human trafficking prior to or during the event. Or as
Matthew Taylor, Counsel at Justice Canada, stated:
“I think from our perspective what we have tried to stress in leading up to the Olympics, what
was most important was to have a strategy in place to raise awareness on the issues, the potential
for abuse, the potentials for trafficking, so our law enforcement community, our provincial
counterparts had an appreciation of the potential risks so if there was an increase … making sure
that people understand what to look for and what to do if they find that … making sure that the
measures were in place should the crime, the risk materialize.”86
Based on interviews with federal contacts and regional CIC and RCMP officers, the following
discussion highlights some of the broad and specific anti-trafficking initiatives implemented in
the lead up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. These measures fall under the general
categories of awareness raising, education, training, and information sharing; and coordination,
consultations, and partnerships.
81
Wijayakoon, RCMP E Division.
For example, Deans, CIC; Norm Hopkins, Regional Program Advisor, CIC BC/Yukon, Telephone Interview, 15
July 2010; Supervisor, CIC BC/Yukon, Telephone Interview, 29 March 2010; Richelle Léonard, Manager, AntiFraud and Human Trafficking, Canada Border Services Agency, Telephone Interview, 12 March 2010; Matthew
Taylor, Counsel, Criminal Law Policy Section, Justice Canada, Telephone Interview, 9 March 2010.
83
Matthews, Public Safety.
84
Deans, CIC; Matthews, Public Safety; Taylor, Justice Canada.
85
Wendy Owen, Analyst, Public Safety Canada, Telephone Interview, 16 February 2010; Taylor, Justice Canada.
86
Taylor, Justice Canada. Also Matthews, Public Safety; Deans, CIC; Hopkins, CIC BC/Yukon; Olson, CBSA.
82
30
As mentioned by most federal informants and regional enforcement contacts interviewed, the
RCMP’s Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre (HTNCC) in Ottawa took a
leadership role in the area of trafficking in persons awareness raising, education, and training
during the two years prior to the commencement of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.
According to Sgt. Marie-Claude Arsenault, RCMP Immigration and Passport Branch, the
HTNCC has, since its establishment in 2005, identified five main priorities, four of which
include “developing tools, protocols and guidelines to facilitate human trafficking investigations;
coordinating national awareness/training and anti-trafficking initiatives; identifying and
maintaining lines of communication as well as identifying issues for integrated coordination and
providing support; and coordinating intelligence and facilitating the dissemination of all sources
of information/intelligence.” In light of these priorities and in an effort to equip various
enforcement agencies, NGOs, and service providers with necessary information so as to be able
to recognize human trafficking and be prepared to respond appropriately, the HTNCC developed
human trafficking toolkits, which contained a law enforcement handbook, training video, victim
assistance guidelines, as well as a pamphlet, posters (in six languages), and a factsheet with
relevant contact information. In 2009, the toolkits were distributed to approximately 4,000 law
enforcement services across the country and, in early 2010, the HTNCC began a mass toolkit
distribution among Canadian NGOs.87 In addition, in the Fall of 2009, CIC disseminated the
aforementioned posters to its network of overseas visa offices and missions so that clients who
visited these offices could be informed about human trafficking in advance of the 2010
Vancouver Olympic Games; CBSA also distributed these materials to their migration integrity
officers overseas in November 2009, and to regional and local CBSA offices.88
In addition, in 2007, the HTNCC, in partnership with RCMP regional human trafficking
awareness coordinators, key federal departments such as Justice Canada, CIC, and CBSA as well
as local law enforcement agencies, began organizing human trafficking awareness workshops for
various enforcement sectors, NGOs, service providers, and the general public. Between 2008 and
2010, over 26,000 individuals in 22 cities participated in these sessions; in this period, British
Columbia became a strategic focus in preparation for the 2010 Olympic Games. One-day
workshops, held in the Okanagan, the Lower Mainland, and on Vancouver Island, provided
information on domestic and transnational human trafficking, relevant legislation and elements
of the offences, trafficking in persons indicators, and referral mechanisms and protocols for
responding to the needs of trafficked persons should cases arise, including local support services.
The approximately 700 BC participants included RCMP and municipal police officers, as well as
regional CIC and CBSA officers. In January 2010, with the approval of the Law Society of
British Columbia, two special workshops were also held for about 60 BC and Yukon crown
prosecutors, coordinated through Public Safety Canada.89
Cognizant that not all CIC regional officers were able to attend the RCMP-sponsored training
workshops in the two years prior to the Olympic Games and that levels of human trafficking
87
Arsenault, RCMP.
Deans, CIC; Olson, CBSA.
89
Arsenault, RCMP; Officer, RCMP E Division; Matthews, Public Safety; Deans, CIC; Hopkins, CIC BC/Yukon;
Taylor, Justice Canada.
88
31
awareness could vary, senior regional CIC personnel sought to ensure that officers in all regional
CIC offices understood the human trafficking indicators and the victims of trafficking in persons
operational guidelines through the dissemination of pamphlets and brochures, as well as internal
case conferences and meetings. In addition, CIC distributed information (brochures and posters
in English, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian) to temporary foreign workers, which outlined
Canadian labour standards and workers’ basic rights in Canada; these brochures were included
with Olympic workforce applications. Working in collaboration, CIC, HRSDC, CBSA, the
Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC), and BC provincial officials also conducted
outreach to “a limited but focused group of employers” who won Olympic contracts and, via a
specific program through VANOC, hired temporary foreign workers in such sectors as
construction, and especially transportation and hospitality services directly prior to and during
the Games. (Approximately 4,000 temporary foreign workers, including students, were hired on
short term contracts by VANOC accredited employers directly prior to and during event, and one
official labour complaint was reported; another 500 temporary foreign workers were hired by
other Lower Mainland employers who provided services during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.)
The intent of this outreach program was to inform employers of their responsibility to ensure
workers were protected and that provincial labour standards pertaining to wages, working
conditions, and occupational safety applied equally to temporary foreign workers as they would
to Canadian workers.90
On another federal front, CBSA began its 2010 Olympics preparation in October 2008 with the
creation of an Olympic and Paralympic Task Force mandated to anticipate and respond to
potential operational issues related to the event. As part of its overall initiatives in this period,
CBSA developed a trafficking in persons enforcement manual, which was completed in February
2009 and made available to all CBSA officers, including migration integrity officers overseas,
border services officers working at ports of entry, and inland enforcement officers. This policy
document contains a discussion of CBSA’s role in the prevention of human trafficking and
current laws under IRPA and the Criminal Code, a list of general trafficking in persons indicators
and interview questions, as well as a description of general protocols and referral procedures
should a suspected human trafficking case involving an adult, youth, or child be detected; this
document was supplemented by a more concise trafficking in persons information sheet for
CBSA officers. In addition, while some CBSA officers voluntarily attended RCMP-led human
trafficking awareness workshops prior to the 2010 Olympic Games, CBSA also produced
material for and undertook the specific trafficking in persons training of its officers. This
included a half-day people at risk workshop particularly for new recruits (between April 2007
and February 2010, 1550 border services officers took the course and beginning in May 2009,
field immigration training program participants, including inland enforcement officers, were
mandated to take this course); the development of computer-based training for more experienced
officers; specialized training of migration integrity officers overseas; and beginning in the
summer of 2009, 26 human trafficking awareness sessions for CBSA officers working in the
Vancouver International Airport, Douglas, Pacific Highway, Aldergrove, Huntingdon, and
90
Deans, CIC; Supervisor, CIC BC/Yukon; Hopkins, CIC BC/Yukon; Regional Representative, HRSDC
BC/Yukon, Telephone Interview, 1 September 2010; Senior Policy Advisor, Foreign Worker Program, HRSDC,
Telephone Interview, 22 April 2010.
32
Prince Rupert offices. According to one CBSA Senior Policy Advisor, the next step would be to
assess the effectiveness of these documents and the training conducted as part of CBSA’s human
trafficking prevention strategy.91
Federal and regional informants also cited the development of partnerships and enhanced
coordination as integral features of pre-Olympic anti-trafficking initiatives. In January 2009, the
RCMP and Public Safety forged an official partnership with Canadian Crime Stoppers, which
was designed “to add to Canada’s TIP line” so members of the public could anonymously
“report suspected cases of trafficking.” This initiative, modeled after Great Britain’s Blue
Blindfold campaign, also involved training of Crime Stoppers directors, call centre managers,
and other personnel, as well as national media and community-based awareness campaigns so
that members of the public would be more “aware of the signs of human trafficking.” Crime
Stoppers contact information was included on all RCMP human trafficking awareness
materials.92 Heightened coordination, information sharing, and consultation between various
stakeholders on security and preventative measures related to human trafficking in the period
leading up to the Olympic Games was also highlighted - between and among key federal
departments (Public Safety, Justice Canada, CIC, CBSA, and RCMP), VANOC, the RCMP E
Division and the Integrated Security Unit, the Vancouver Police Department, and OCTIP, as well
as between regional offices and local service provision agencies to ensure that support services
were in place should human trafficking cases materialize. For example, the RCMP E Division’s
Immigration and Passport Unit strengthened and forged partnerships with a number of relevant
stakeholders, including, among others, OCTIP, CIC, CBSA, U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, Fire Services (for example, Surrey Fire Services), Work Safe BC, the Salvation
Army, Servants Anonymous, and a variety of faith-based groups. Similarly, CIC’s regional
office not only liaised with OCTIP, but also collaborated with first responders (healthcare, social
services, settlement agencies, and shelters in BC) on temporary resident permits available to
trafficked persons.93
While not connected to federal preparations for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Games, other
initiatives included the establishment of a focus group on forced labour involving Public Safety,
Justice Canada, RCMP, HRSDC, CIC, and CBSA; this sub-group was created in the context of
the broader IWGTIP. In January 2010, the RCMP partnered with HRSDC (Labour Program) to
develop training on human trafficking for provincial labour inspectors and other labour officials.
The training sessions include information sharing; case studies; indicators of human trafficking
and forced labour; industries at risk; and possible areas of cooperation between
federal/provincial/territorial labour officials, law enforcement, and other relevant parties.94
Furthermore, the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, a unit in Statistics Canada, at the request
of Public Safety Canada, conducted research into, and in June 2010 released a document on, the
91
Olson, CBSA; Matthews, Public Safety.
Matthews, Public Safety; Goguen, Public Safety; Arsenault, RCMP.
93
Matthews, Public Safety; Goguen, Public Safety; Arsenault, RCMP; Wijayakoon, RCMP E Division; Officer,
RCMP E Division; Deans, CIC; Supervisor, CIC BC/Yukon; Hopkins, CIC BC/Yukon.
94
Policy Analyst, International Labour Affairs – Labour Program, HRSDC, Telephone Interview, 23 March 2010;
Matthews, Public Safety.
92
33
feasibility of “developing a national data collection framework to measure trafficking in persons
in Canada” in order to address “the lack of comprehensive, reliable and comparable data” on the
“scope of human trafficking in Canada.”95
Provincial Level
Like their federal counterparts, staff members working in the Office to Combat Trafficking in
Persons (OCTIP) were also highly cognizant of the concerns expressed by some NGOs, faithbased groups, and private citizens about the potential risks of an increase in human trafficking
for the purpose of sexual exploitation prior to and during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic
Games. While a strong indication of increased public awareness of the issue in British Columbia,
this heightened attention to trafficking in persons was most evident in extensive media reports
and in the high volume of letters and petitions sent to provincial ministers and VANOC officials
particularly in the six months prior to the Games; in the latter case, faith-based groups most often
spearheaded these initiatives. As noted in the interview, however, OCTIP’s consistent strategy in
relation to the Games was to continue to fulfill its established mandate - namely of coordinating
BC’s strategy to combat human trafficking, and, through partnerships with various NGOs,
services providers, and clinical counselors, of synchronizing services for trafficked persons in the
province, including being prepared for any cases that might materialize during the Olympic
Games. In addition, in the months leading up to the Games, staff members were highly active in
raising awareness about human trafficking and about the various services OCTIP provides
through the distribution of materials, as well as presentations and training sessions delivered to
such groups as provincial Victim Services workers, firefighters working at the Vancouver
Airport, hotel managers and executives in Victoria and Vancouver, and BC crown prosecutors. A
practicum student in their office was also tasked with monitoring increased activity on Craigslist
and other exotic services online sites, with a focus on new posts, views per post, and replies per
post. Finally, OCTIP staff emphasized ongoing collaborations with the IWGTIP Olympics
working group on the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, to whom they reported on all activity leading
up to the Games, including the correspondence they received, the various local awareness raising
campaigns, and any recommendations that they had. Despite the Office’s consistent human
trafficking strategy prior to and during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, staff members
noted that the most significant shift in this period was that, with heightened public discussions
about human trafficking and their awareness raising activities, their ongoing work as the key
service coordinating body in the province achieved an enhanced profile. That said, while
receiving a growing number of calls since the Office opened in 2007, staff received no Olympicrelated transnational human trafficking calls immediately prior to or during the Olympic Games;
they further suggested that individuals affected by domestic trafficking would be more inclined
to contact NGOs for assistance.96
95
Senior Analyst, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Statistics Canada, E-Mail Interview, 8 March 2010;
Ogrodnik, Towards the Development of a National Data Collection Framework to Measure Trafficking in Persons,
5.
96
OCTIP Staff (4), In-Person Interviews, 4 and 30 March 2010. In a January 2011 report, it was confirmed that
OCTIP “received no referrals” during the Olympic Games. At the same time, OCTIP staff indicated that this did not
mean that there were no “victims of trafficking” in this period; rather, “they expect that, due to the covert nature of
trafficking, ‘there is far more sexual exploitation of women, children and boys’ than they were able to identify and
34
Interviews with the Director of Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division based in
Vancouver, and one staff member at a Lower Mainland Victim Services unit indicated that,
regardless of whether or not the 2010 Olympic Games would precipitate an increase in human
trafficking, their main priority was on safety and ensuring that support services were available
and responsive to victims of crime should trafficking in persons cases arise during the event.
Hence, both noted that in the year prior to the commencement of the Games, preparation
included collaborative planning and coordination of service provision agencies from the Lower
Mainland to Whistler, the development of trafficking in persons protocols and referral
mechanisms, and the training of service providers on transnational and domestic human
trafficking with OCTIP and law enforcement. Resources were also obtained to advertise the 24/7
VictimLink line among service providers, and a modest amount of provincial funds for extra
staffing and extended hours were made available to some service providers along the Corridor
should the need arise. At the time of the interview, the Director of Victim Services indicated that
none of the extra funds had been accessed and a number of community partnering agencies had
reported that they received no calls for services pertaining to human trafficking. Hence, from the
perspective of this office and based on recorded data on service usage during the 2010 Olympics
Games, there was no evidence of an increase in trafficking in persons just prior to or during the
event. This conclusion was echoed in an interview with a staff member from a Lower Mainland
Victim Services unit where all Olympic-related files were also tracked. Finally, a Victim
Services manager in Surrey suggested that, because the city was more insulated from Olympic
venues, his unit was not as involved in the conversation around the potential risk of an increase
in human trafficking in the context of the Games or in strategic planning in preparation for this
eventuality.97
Local Law Enforcement
According to interviews with two RCMP E Division, Immigration and Passport Unit and two
Vancouver Police Department (VPD) officers, human trafficking particularly for the purpose of
sexual exploitation was prioritized as an area of concern in both forces prior to and during the
2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. Although the RCMP officers interviewed were not
convinced, given the evidence from previous mega sporting events and internal intelligence data,
that an increase in human trafficking would materialize, the unit was proactive in its preparations
for the event. In addition to hosting trafficking in persons awareness training throughout BC,
collaborating and regularly sharing information with VPD, and partnering with OCTIP and
relevant service agencies, one RCMP E Division, Immigration and Passport Unit officer noted
that almost all regional RCMP officers were seconded to the Integrated Security Unit for the
duration of the 2010 Olympic Games, with the exception of his entire 20-officer unit, which was
support.” London Councils and GLE, The 2012 Games and human trafficking: Identifying possible risks and
relevant good practice from other cities (January 2011), 18.
97
Susanne Dahlin, Director, Victim Services and Crime Prevention, BC, In-Person Interview, 4 March 2010;
Anonymous, Victim Services (Lower Mainland), Telephone Interview, 16 March 2010; Jeff Stacey, Victim
Services, Surrey, Telephone Interview, 29 March 2010. Researchers were supplied with recorded data on service
usage during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, which included such information as client type, age group, incident
type, and whether the incident occurred at an Olympic event.
35
solely responsible for monitoring “any potential human trafficking incidents” during that period.
Furthermore, another officer in his unit was responsible for tracking Craigslist erotic services ads
for about one year prior to the Olympics, and particularly from December 2009 onward, with
Calgary postings used for comparative purposes. Given reported concerns about these online
sites as potential mediums for human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, the intent
was to identify any increase in or suspicious activities based on six key words that sought to
capture youth as well as new arrivals to Vancouver prior to and during the Olympic Games. This
research revealed that there “was an increase in people tailoring their ads toward people coming
to the Olympics, but there wasn’t anything to support that these people were new to Vancouver.
The nature of the ads changed to attract people who might be coming for the Olympics. We saw
a couple of cases of people from out of town or appeared to be who were saying I’m going to be
in town for these dates and they were basically looking for an escort … but we didn’t see a giant
increase.”98
The two VPD officers interviewed also indicated that they take a collaborative approach to their
anti-trafficking work specifically as it pertains to the commercial sex sector. These include
essential partnerships and consultations with the RCMP, CIC, CBSA, OCTIP, victim support
agencies, including the Ministry of Children and Family Development, and Vancouver-based sex
trade exit programs. One officer, working in the area of diversity and Aboriginal policing, also
noted that in 2007, VPD partnered with Vancouver community organizations that work on issues
related to sex work to establish the Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group (SIWSAG), and
has been involved in the Living in Community Action Plan project.99 With respect to the 2010
Olympic Games and in the absence of what they described as solid and reliable data, both VPD
officers, like their RCMP regional counterparts, expressed some frustration with the intensity of
media and public discussions about the link between trafficking in persons and the 2010 Olympic
Games in the period leading up to and during the event. They also emphasized that, at the VPD
level, the amount of resources being invested in combating human trafficking meant the
significant under-resourcing of other issues. That said, like the enforcement communities more
generally, the VPD did have specific concerns with respect of human trafficking during the
Games and hence undertook significant preparations prior to the event. These included RCMPsponsored trafficking in persons training for VPD officers, the distribution of RCMP awareness
materials among VPD members, and the internal production of a short training video specifically
catered to Vancouver frontline officers; the latter focused on human trafficking for the purpose
of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and labour exploitation and emphasized the
importance of working and building relationships with marginalized and stigmatized
communities in order to detect situations of coercion. In addition, one VPD informant stressed
the importance of “cultural competence” in dealing with marginalized communities, such as
homeless persons and street-based sex workers, wherein the risk of violence is high and the
underreporting of crime common. To this end, there was concern prior to the 2010 Olympics
about potential displacement of sex workers due to security and traffic rerouting. As a result,
98
Wijayakoon, RCMP E Division; Officer, RCMP E Division.
Since 2004, the multi-stakeholder Living in Community project has worked to “increase the health and safety of
all community members in relation to the impacts of sex work on neighbourhoods throughout Vancouver.” See
http://livingincommunity.ca/
99
36
VPD developed written materials, which were disseminated to all its members, advocating for
increased sensitivity to potential unintended consequences of increased enforcement presence for
marginalized communities, including street-based sex workers. Finally, it was noted that, at the
end of January 2010, the VPD responded to six complaints, which alleged that women, including
one minor, were being forced to work in a specific Vancouver establishment. Of these
complaints, however, “there was no minor found, or evidence of a minor and there were no
immigration matters. Of all the investigations, none of the complaints were substantiated.”100
NGOs, Service Providers, Outreach Workers, and Advocates
Researchers contacted a total of 54 potential informants working in the NGO and service
provision sectors, mainly on the Lower Mainland or in British Columbia, and conducted
telephone or in-person interviews or received information via e-mail in response to our main
research questions from a total of 25 contacts. In addition, 11 outreach workers, legal advocates,
and researchers were contacted and 8 telephone and e-mail interviews were conducted. The data
from these interviews have been loosely grouped into three categories: youth sexual exploitation;
sex worker organizations, outreach workers, and advocates; and migrant workers and labour
exploitation.
Youth Sexual Exploitation
A total of 20 Indigenous community contacts across BC, many of whom work with youth, were
invited to participate in the research and the responses received were varied. While one potential
informant declined for ethical reasons because of involvement in a study on Aboriginal sexually
exploited youth, two others declined because they did not agree with the way in which provincial
discourse on human trafficking was being conflated with other issues facing Indigenous girls and
women. They were also opposed to funding being given to federal and Lower Mainland-based
organizations to conduct research in northern Indigenous communities. In at least six instances,
Aboriginal organizations, operating in the Lower Mainland and in the interior, could not or did
not participate due to recent provincial funding cuts and the resultant loss of staff who focused
specifically on community-based education, outreach and prevention programs to address youth
sexual exploitation. Finally, a representative from one Vancouver-based Aboriginal policing
organization indicated that his agency did not see any cases of human trafficking and hence, had
nothing to add to the research. The Executive Director of the Urban Native Youth Association in
Vancouver, which runs 21 programs, however, agreed to be interviewed, as did the founder of
the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (based in Toronto with partners across North America,
including BC).
Representatives from three non-Aboriginal, Vancouver-based youth-serving organizations were
also contacted, including two that focus exclusively on prevention of child and youth sexual
exploitation. One organization did not respond, but key members of the other two – Children of
the Street Society and Safe Online Outreach Society – agreed to be interviewed. Finally, two
100
Officer, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing Unit, Vancouver Police Department (VPD), In-Person Interview, 15
March 2010; Sergeant, Vice Unit, VPD, In-Person Interview, 17 March 2010.
37
other service provision agencies with youth outreach programs on the Corridor were approached.
One representative noted that her organization did not see any cases of human trafficking, and
that there was no increase in demand for services during the Olympics; an interview was,
however, conducted with the Executive Director of a community services organization located in
Whistler.
Different perspectives and concerns were articulated in interviews with services providers who
work with youth or on issues of youth sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Jessica Yee of
the Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN), an organization that includes youth who
have been involved in the sex trade and allies with NGOs who work with trafficked persons,
expressed concern about the propensity to label Indigenous girls and women as “victims of
trafficking,” a discourse that she noted was particularly strong in the lead up to and during the
2010 Olympic Games. NYSHN, as an experiential and youth-centred Indigenous organization,
has challenged discourses that, in Yee’s opinion, use and exploit youth experiences to further
particular political agendas. She emphasized that she is especially critical of efforts, both
governmental and non-governmental, that speak for youth rather than centring their voices and
engaging in the important work of educating and empowering them. For her, the discourse
around human trafficking of Aboriginal youth and the promotion of particular prevention
strategies has a number of consequences:
“It’s dangerous for youth because it’s giving power in places where there’s a potential to further
exploit people’s pain for people’s own agendas. And I think it’s a rescue mentality and it’s a
savior mentality, and I mean, it didn’t work with residential schools and it’s not going to work
now … I was so offended [around the Olympics] in witnessing both organizations and
government rushing in and saying okay, well, we’re going to help you with this because your
women are just so poor and so ‘sex trafficked’ … People that are legitimately suffering the
effects of human trafficking don’t get served because of the types of policies and frameworks
that are used to approach the issue. And people that are legitimately involved in sex work also
don’t get served and their needs don’t get met … There are real people being lost in the process,
within the margins of not fitting a specific definition of ‘trafficking’ and sex work.”101
Linda Grey, the Executive Director of the Urban Native Youth Association (UNYA) in
Vancouver, maintained that in recent years, she heard rumors from other frontline workers, but
not from youth they work with, about young Indigenous women being brought to Vancouver
from the interior of BC (Kamloops, Merritt and Lillooett) to work in the sex trade, as well as
Aboriginal youth being brought to the United States for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
However, because these were only rumors rather than concrete cases of UNYA clients, very few
details were known and, from her perspective, more information was needed. Given that
Indigenous youth were not talking extensively about human trafficking, Grey suggested that
holding focus groups or conducting research with Indigenous youth or sex workers might yield
more specific data. With respect to the Olympics, she stated that, in Vancouver, “there are new
youth on the street all the time,” both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and the fact that the new
faces present during the event were hanging downtown suggested that these youth were likely
101
Jessica Yee, Native Youth Sexual Health Network (NYSHN), Telephone Interview, 23 July 2010.
38
not under coercion. For her, the most pressing concern with respect to Indigenous youth was not
around human trafficking or exploitation of youth, but around the indirect impact of increased
surveillance and policing in the downtown area.102
Working specifically on the prevention of youth sexual exploitation in the lead up to and during
the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, a representative from Children of the Street Society in
Coquitlam indicated that the organization hosted a series of educational workshops among youth,
which focused on safety and the potential risks associated with, for example, partying during
hallmark events. The organization also conducted training workshops for hotel managers and
frontline workers and produced an educational DVD, so that Vancouver hospitality workers
would be equipped to recognize and, through established protocols, prevent incidents of youth
sexual exploitation in their establishments. The Executive Director from one community services
organization in Whistler noted that similar awareness sessions were held in her community, but
as another informant indicated, community services groups were less successful in gaining
access to and holding youth sexual exploitation prevention workshops for frontline hotel workers
in Whistler. In addition, Children of the Street, in partnership with the VPD and the Ministry of
Children and Family Development, also produced public education materials that focused on the
prevention of online demand for youth sexual services. While arguing that youth in the sex trade
are increasingly moving from on-street to online to advertise sexual services, there is also the
growing concern that technology (online forums and social networking sites) has become a
medium for customers to make connections with youth. However, in mounting these various
prevention initiatives, including Predator Watch, as well as posting information at the Vancouver
airport, at bus shelters, and in taxicabs prior to and during the Olympics, sufficient resources and
funding was a constant issue. Hence, the organization’s preventative campaigns and distribution
capacity were more limited than initially planned.103
With respect to the link between the internet and human trafficking, Merlyn Horton from Safe
Online Outreach Society (SOLOS), an organization that focuses on educational awareness and
prevention of online child and youth exploitation and the promotion of internet safety,
emphasized the importance of having a human trafficking contingency plan in place prior to and
during mega sporting events. Nonetheless, she noted that her research and experience indicates
that a small percentage of youth is vulnerable to being lured by strangers on the internet, and that
these are the same youth who are at risk of sexual exploitation more generally. She maintained
that areas of educational priority on the issue of youth online safety include cyber bullying, child
102
Linda Grey, Executive Director, Urban Native Youth Association (Vancouver), Telephone Interview, 25 March
2010.
103
Representative, Children of the Street Society (Coquitlam), In-Person Interview, 4 March 2010; Gerry Bellett,
“Hotels program aimed at cutting child prostitution; Staff members are being instructed on how to spot and deal
with incidents of sexual exploitation by guests,” Vancouver Sun, 23 June 2007; John Colebourn, “Video targets sex
trade; Group warns about city’s dark side during Olympics,” The Province (Vancouver), 24 June 2007; Greg
MacDaniel, Executive Director, Whistler Community Services (Whistler), Telephone Interview, 8 April 2010;
Anonymous, Victim Services (Lower Mainland). On unsuccessful attempts to hold youth sexual exploitation
prevention workshops for frontline hotel workers in Whistler, see Claire Piech, “Community services groups keep
an eye on sex trade: Youth exploitation a concern during the Games,” at
http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/pique/index.php?content=Youth+sexploitation+1707.
39
pornography, youth being encouraged to create sexual images of themselves, and risks to a
youth’s reputation, rather than online procuring or the internet being used for the purpose of
human trafficking. She argued that this is, in part, due to the fact that children and youth are
becoming increasingly media savvy and are more adept at dealing with strangers online. That
said, she noted that youth living in rural and isolated areas, including Indigenous communities,
are at increased risk because of a relative lack of experience using the internet.104
Some interviewees expressed concern about the perceived shift in provincial funding and
resources allocation, with support for education about youth sexual exploitation being cut in
recent years and new funding being directed to the issue of domestic trafficking. This concern
was expressed by several service providers in Indigenous communities who were contacted
about participating in the research because of their past education and prevention programming
around sexual exploitation. These organizations did not participate in the research either because
their funding had been cut and the staff person working on that program had been let go, or
because they were resentful of the recent changes in funding and focus provincially. Jessica Yee
of NYSHN spoke about this development on a federal level, saying that because of the
willingness to direct funding toward the prevention of human trafficking in Aboriginal
communities, the service delivery needs of trafficked persons, sex workers, and others are not
being met due to a lack of funding to organizations that serve them. Merlyn Horton of SOLOS
noted that, at the provincial level, this recent shift in focus has, in part, been the result of
renaming, with “human trafficking” having replaced the term “sexual exploitation”: “We started
out talking about ‘teen prostitutes’ in the early 90s, and then in the mid-90’s we started talking
about ‘sexually exploited youth’. And for me, now, recently, we’ve switched to the language of
‘human trafficking’. I think the issue has stayed the same, but we’ve just kind of changed our
language around it.” For these interview participants, this trend meant that the work of
organizations that had built up expertise, resources, and momentum in educating youth about
issues related to sexual exploitation has halted. As Horton further noted, there has also been a
perceptible shift from a community-based model to a centralized model. Historically,
Community Action Teams (CATs) around the province were able to access funding through the
provincial government to do education, outreach, and prevention work related to youth sexual
exploitation. This model allowed CATs to tailor their efforts to the realities of the local
community dynamics (with a focus on rural, urban, Aboriginal, immigrant, etc.), and included a
strong focus on building the sustainable capacity of frontline workers and youth throughout the
province. With the recent funding cuts, the perception is that work on issues related to youth
sexual exploitation and human trafficking is now being organized centrally through OCTIP,
rather than being offered by and for communities.105
With the exception of Children of the Street, none of the service providers, including Aboriginal
agencies, working on issues of youth sexual exploitation that were contacted and interviewed
held specific outreach or awareness campaigns related to the Olympics. However, staff at some
organizations did receive educational workshops in order to enhance their ability to recognize
human trafficking. In terms of outcomes, several frontline workers working with youth (one in
104
105
Merlyn Horton, Safe Online Outreach Society (SOLOS) (Vancouver), Telephone Interview, 20 July 2010.
For example, Yee, NYSHN; Horton, SOLOS.
40
Whistler and one in Vancouver) stated that they thought there might have been recent cases of
human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation in their communities, but they could not
name specific examples, nor could they identify other service providers who may have worked
with people who had been trafficked within and to BC. It was noted, however, that in Whistler,
the number of escort agency ads in the community newspaper tripled (up from two to three ads)
in the six months leading up to the Olympics and it was suspected that the escorts were not
locals, but likely from Vancouver. The Children of the Street representative indicated that,
although she did not hear of an increase in human trafficking or of youth sexual exploitation in
the commercial sex trade during the Olympics, there was likely an “increase in exploitation at
parties,” involving young women being given drugs or alcohol and engaging in sexual acts. She
also suggested that, based on her expertise in the area of youth sexual exploitation, “it would be
pretty difficult to bring an underage in for a period of two weeks.” She was, however, informed
about and intervened in a situation involving young women under the age of 19 discussing plans
to travel to Whistler to make money through sex work. These cases were not interpreted as
potential instances of human trafficking, but as un-facilitated movements fueled by perceived
economic opportunities with the seeds perhaps planted by Olympic-related media reports.106
Finally, Horton of SOLOS stated that she did not see a “marked increase” or “significant
change” in online activity, based on her years of monitoring the Craigslist exotic services section
and other online forums. Her frontline contacts in downtown Vancouver also reported that, given
heightened police presence in the area, the youth trade in that particular context “almost dried
up” and “the anticipated influx of exploited youth did not occur.”107
Sex Worker Organizations, Outreach Workers, and Advocates
Researchers contacted 20 organizations and individuals that work in various capacities on issues
related to sex work in Vancouver and conducted interviews with 17 informants; 2 contacts did
not respond to our letters of invitation, and a third declined on the grounds that the conceptual
framework of the research was biased toward a particular understanding of human trafficking for
the purpose of sexual exploitation. Another 11 organizations working in the service provision
and advocacy sectors on the Lower Mainland were approached; 1 informant agreed to be
interviewed, 8 contacts did not respond, and 2 declined for similar reasons cited above, namely
that the research framework was skewed.
Organizational representatives and individuals interviewed who work directly on issues related
to sex work in Vancouver expressed varying levels of expectation as to whether or not the 2010
Vancouver Winter Olympics Games would see a significant rise in transnational and domestic
human trafficking particularly for the purpose of sexual exploitation. While some appeared to be
more convinced than others, especially as it pertained to domestic trafficking, a number of
106
The Howe Sound Women’s Centre also reported that, “some at-risk [local] youth [were] planning on possibly
getting involved in the sex trade during the course of the Olympics as more of an opportunistic situation.” In an
effort to address ongoing concerns about youth sexual exploitation in Squamish and the Sea to Sky Corridor, the
Centre and other community service groups held prevention workshops in local high schools and youth centres in
the lead up to the 2010 Olympic Games. Piech, “Community services groups keep an eye on sex trade.”
107
Grey, Urban Native Youth; MacDaniel, Whistler Community Services; Representative, Children of the Street;
Horton, SOLOS.
41
participants identified the Sex Industry Worker Safety Action Group (SIWSAG) commissioned
study, Human Trafficking, Sex Work Safety and the 2010 Games: Assessments and
Recommendations (June 2009) as an important reference point.108 Informants agreed, however,
that the rights, safety, and wellbeing of their constituents were of paramount importance prior to
and during the Games, especially in the face of traffic rerouting as well as the influx of tourists,
the media, law enforcement, and security personnel in the downtown area.
In an effort to address concerns about criminalization, harassment, and displacement of streetbased sex workers prior to and during the 2010 Olympic Games, organizations that practice a
harm reduction model in their direct service work participated in multi-stakeholder community
planning with local law enforcement and various service provision agencies. Such
collaborations, it was noted, facilitates a more nuanced understanding of the lives, experiences,
and needs of marginalized and vulnerable communities, including female, male, and trans streetbased sex workers and street-involved youth, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. They also
contributed to the strengthening of organizational networks and consultations, more relevant
safety preparation, and ideally to reducing the risk of inappropriate surveillance, harassment, and
criminalization. With these goals in mind, some key initiatives implemented prior to and during
the Games included conducting information sessions with and distributing resource materials
among constituents which focused on such issues as what to expect during the Games, the
location of safe spaces and supports, legal rights in regard to interactions with media and
enforcement, tips on screening and meeting clients, and the do’s and don’ts of various
neighbourhoods. In addition to engaging in more foot outreach during the Games, some
organizations received funding to increase outreach workers’ hours (for example, the MAP Van
operated an additional 4 hours per day, implemented a new method of logging sex workers’
experiences and issues that arose during the event, and had relevant supports in place should the
need arise; Hustle enhanced the length of outreach workers’ shifts and the supplies distributed),
to extend the hours of drop-in centres and other service agencies (for example, WISH Drop-in
Centre and PEERS), and to provide hot meals for its members (PACE). Pivot Legal Society
established a 24-hour legal hotline and offered free legal services at the courthouse for the entire
period of the 2010 Olympics. ORCHID, a program that conducts peer-led, language appropriate,
and face-to-face outreach particularly with Asian women working in massage parlours in
Vancouver and surrounding areas, distributed extra harm reduction supplies, as well as written
materials for any new staff, including information about safer sex practices, STI transmission,
and legal rights of sex workers and immigrant women. Finally, prior to and during the Games,
the BC Coalition of Experiential Communities produced and then distributed a pamphlet for
potential clients that outlined appropriate behavior in exotic show lounges, escort services, on the
street, as well as safe sex information and contact information for organizations working with
trafficked persons should visitors observe or encounter them. There were also collaborations
with the Safe Games 2010 campaign in the distribution of condoms and safe sex information.109
108
This study was initially intended to be the first phase of a proposed larger research project, but as mentioned in a
number of interviews, the second phase did not receive funding. Tamara O’Doherty, SIWSAG (Vancouver),
Telephone Interview, 8 April 2010.
109
O’Doherty, SIWSAG; Kerry Porth, PACE (Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 1 March 2010; Kate Gibson, WISH
Drop-in Centre (Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 2 March 2010; Matthew Taylor, Hustle Men on the Move
42
During interviews, frontline workers positively reported that no major enforcement sweep or
crackdown on marginalized and street-involved populations in the downtown area occurred
immediately prior to and during the 2010 Olympics. At the same time, some organizations did
execute additional strategies in response to specific complaints and issues that arose during the
event. Katrina Pacey from Pivot Legal Society noted that the enhanced presence of enforcement
in the downtown area, and especially unfamiliar officers from other jurisdictions not wearing
VPD uniforms, did increase stress among street-involved populations. There were also several
reports of harassment of street-based sex workers in some areas, which resulted in augmented
legal observer presence in the Downtown Eastside. Laurel Irons, coordinator of the Map Van,
further indicated that her outreach team received a number of complaints about increased
surveillance, harassment, and mistreatment of street-based sex workers on particular strolls that
appeared to mainly involve enforcement personnel from other jurisdictions brought into the city
for the duration of the Games, individuals posing as law enforcement officers, and rowdy
spectators. These trends were particularly marked on the trans-sex worker stroll, and sex workers
were advised to ask for names and badge numbers in all interactions with enforcement. Another
outreach worker noted that her organization enhanced their support activities in the back alleys in
the Downtown Eastside, given that many street-involved people relocated there to escape
heightened public scrutiny and harassment, and after receiving reports of and observing
significant police mistreatment of individuals in these less publicly visible areas. Finally, there
were reports of police raids of at least three licensed massage parlours prior to and during the
Games, the impetus being complaints that minors were working in the establishments. However,
it appears that these allegations were not substantiated as no criminal charges were laid.110
With respect to mobile populations in the lead up to and during the 2010 Olympics, researchers
received a range of responses. Those organizations working directly with street-based sex
workers did not see a significant rise in numbers, although three outreach workers reported that
there were some new faces from other areas of British Columbia and various parts of the
country, and one noted that there was a significant drop in the number of regulars with whom her
outreach team has ongoing contact. One informant indicated that the rise in the number of new
faces was consistent with the usual increases in the summer months, and a number of participants
emphasized that it was generated by an expectation of “increased activity” and income earning
opportunities. Based on their outreach and monitoring activities at street level, frontline workers
(Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 23 March 2010; Laurel Irons, MAP Van (Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 25
March 2010; Ty Mistry, PEERS (Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 29 March 2010; Katrina Pacey, Pivot Legal
Society (Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 4 March 2010; Susan Davis, West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry
Professionals, In-Person Interview, 24 March 2010; Soni Thindal, ORCHID (Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 18
March 2010. It was further noted that the legal rights information produced by ORCHID in partnership with Pivot
Legal Society and distributed among massage parlour workers was in direct response to the significant rights
violations that occurred during the December 2006 enforcement raids of 18 massage parlours on the Lower
Mainland.
110
Davis, West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals; Pacey, Pivot; Irons, MAP Van; Jennifer Allan,
Jen’s Kitchen (Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 24 March 2010; O’Doherty, SIWSAG; Thindal, ORCHID. One
VPD officer verified one of these massage parlour investigations and indicated that the allegations were not
substantiated. Sergeant, Vice Unit, VPD.
43
maintained that they heard no reports nor encountered evidence that human trafficking or third
party involvement were factors. Overall, outreach workers observed that it was generally “quiet
on the streets” and “business was quite slow during the Olympics” with fewer clients, a pattern
that was attributed to the enhanced presence of law enforcement and the displacement or
relocation of some street-based sex workers to other and possibly unfamiliar neighbourhoods. As
a result of this combination of factors, one informant noted that, “everyone took a cut.” These
observations were consistent with the findings of one qualitative study based on 95 interviews
with female sex workers (working on-street and in more informal indoor spaces such as massage
parlours and micro-brothels) from late January 2010 to the end of the Olympics. Researchers
found that “as compared to the previous month, women reported increased movement of sex
workers, increased displacement/movement between neighbourhoods, increased number of new
workers, and an influx of workers from outside the Vancouver Lower Mainland as compared.”
There were no “reports from women of increased trafficking/women being sold into sex work in
the weeks prior to/during the Olympics.” In addition, about half of the sex workers interviewed
reported “an increased difficulty in hooking up with clients, primarily due to heightened policing
and road closures, and due to increased competition and NIMBY [“Not In My Back Yard”]
strategies.” In addition, PEERS observed that due in part to its outreach and information
dissemination activities prior to the Olympic Games, there was a noticeable increase in the
number of local sex workers accessing the organization’s new Elements program in February
2010.111
Some frontline workers also noted that, despite concerns about increased violence during the
Olympic Games, there was no reported increase in bad date reports among street-based sex
workers; for example, according to the MAP Van communications log, the numbers were “on the
lower end of the scale.”112 At the same time, Corrine Arthur from the Surrey Women’s Centre
and the coordinator of a new project funded by Justice Canada that provided after hours hospital
accompaniment to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and human trafficking and
worked in partnership with Victim Link and sexual assaults nurses at the Surrey Memorial
Hospital,113 noted a significant increase in the number of women accessing the hospital as a
result of sexual assaults in February and March 2010 (24 cases) as compared to the previous year
(6 cases). While one case was directly linked to an Olympic event, in a handful of instances, the
sexual assaults involved what she described as street-entrenched, non-resident, and possibly
displaced sex workers from Vancouver and other surrounding communities. While some of these
sex workers told support workers that they were “capitalizing on the increased clientele,” Arthur
speculated that if they were dislocated or traveling to Surrey or other communities on dates
111
Gibson, WISH; Porth, PACE; Irons, MAP Van; Mistry, PEERS; Allan, Jen’s Kitchen; Davis, West Coast
Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals; Pacey, Pivot; Kate Shannon, Department of Medicine, School of
Population and Public Health and British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, University of British
Columbia (UBC), In-Person Interview, 24 March 2010 and E-Mail Interview, 22 April 2010.
112
Irons, MAP Van; Gibson, WISH.
113
In addition to conducting risk and safety assessments, which include human trafficking on its list of incident
types, the Surrey Women’s Centre has specifically adopted a “Human Trafficking Screening Guide” in their hospital
accompaniment work.
44
rather than working in their usual neighbourhoods, they may not have known clients and hence,
were at heightened risk of sexual assault.114
Escort service interviewees noted increases in the number of Craigslist and other online ads, as
well as a rise in the number of workers to about a third during the Olympic Games, many of
whom reportedly migrated to Vancouver from other provinces or various U.S. cities. While one
informant emphasized that some escort services and business owners engage in unethical and
exploitative labour practices, these movements were described as independent, un-facilitated,
and characteristic of general worker mobility in this sector of the industry. Economic drivers
particularly in a period of economic recession and the effect of media coverage highlighting
potential increases in demand for paid sexual services as well as the existence of a cooperative
brothel were identified as primary motivations. However, participants further maintained that
demand did not meet supply as the out call sector in particular was not busier than usual. Hence,
due to heightened competition and significant overstaffing, many workers who had come to the
city to work for escort agencies were not able to work or if they did find work in other venues,
did not earn anticipated incomes. Overall, escorts, whether locals or from out of town, reported
that earnings either remained stable or diminished during the Olympic Games.115 Similarly, one
ORCHID outreach worker observed that, while established massage parlours especially in
Vancouver did hire extra staff and in some cases, former workers and other individuals opened
new short-term venues in order to meet the much discussed and anticipated increase in demand
for paid sexual services during the Olympic Games, the vast majority of additional workers were
hired locally.116 Like other sectors, massage parlour workers expected that the Olympics would
generate a “flood of clients” and increased earnings; however, “it didn’t happen.” As noted by
the informant, it was unclear whether this outcome was due to the absence of significant demand
for paid sexual services during the event or because “the market was flooded” with sex workers;
in her opinion, both factors were operating during the Games, but in general, there did not “seem
to be the same traffic.” She also indicated that she was on call during the duration of the Games,
ready to respond to any issues that arose in the massage parlours or to provide supports if
needed, but she received no calls during the event.117
114
Corrine Arthur, Surrey Women’s Centre (Surrey), Telephone Interview, 13 April 2010. The VPD also reported
an increase in common and sexual assaults in the period between 12 February and 1 March 2010; common assaults
rose from 250 to 340 and sexual assaults from 16 to 27, but further details were not provided. Public Affairs,
Vancouver Police Department, “Final Crime Stats Reveal Drop in Total Criminal Offences for Vancouver During
the 2010 Olympics,” Media Release, 17 March 2010. During the Olympics Games, one Vancouver-based rape crisis
centre – WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women) – initiated a SafeVibe campaign on Vancouver
streets and around bars; information materials distributed were designed to promote personal safety and to prevent
drug and alcohol facilitated sexual assaults. See http://campaigns.hellocoolworld.com/index.cfm?campaign_id=17.
115
Davis, West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals; Lauren Casey, Ph.D. Student, University of
Victoria (UVic) and former Director, PEERS (Victoria) and Coordinator, National Coalition of Experiential
Women, Telephone Interview, 15 April 2010; Manager, Vancouver Escort Agency, In-Person Interview, 26 March
2010.
116
This informant noted in her interview that she could not comment on the situation in micro-brothels, which she
described as a more underground and tightly controlled sector.
117
Thindal, ORCHID.
45
With respect to exotic dancers, one informant emphasized that, like escorts, workers in this
sector and more specifically stage dancers tend to be highly mobile and travel to “where the
money is.” During the Games, it was noted, there were at most 10 dancers from Alberta and
Ontario who temporarily relocated to Vancouver to work in clubs. These movements were
described as un-facilitated, with dancers being responsible for their own bookings either through
an agency or directly with a club. With respect to the level of business, she indicated that there
was no significant increase during the two-year pre-Olympic construction phase or during the
Games; in fact, in the latter case, Vancouver strip clubs (even those with an international
reputation like Brandi Show Lounge) outside of the “hub” were “dead.” This meant that “shows
were cut,” dancers, including those from out of town, did not “make the money they were
expecting to make,” and many “just left.” Two clubs in the “hub” were busier with walk by
traffic, extended their hours slightly, and liquor sales likely increased, but VIP dancers reported
that their take home pay was “average” or “less” than usual. It was concluded that spectators
seemed to be more interested in watching hockey and figure skating, drinking beer at the Irish
House, partying on Granville and Robson, and attending the free shows and live city sites than
going to The Penthouse and purchasing lap dances.118
Migrant Workers and Labour Exploitation
Researchers contacted 8 immigration lawyers and NGO representatives who work in various
capacities on issues that affect immigrants, refugees, and migrant workers in British Columbia; 3
potential participants did not respond to our letters of invitation, and in-person, telephone, or email interviews were conducted with 5 informants. Other participants – both governmental and
non-governmental – also addressed the question of transnational human trafficking for the
purpose of labour exploitation in general and in the context of the 2010 Olympic Games in
particular.
In commenting on anti-trafficking discussions and public awareness campaigns prior to and
during the 2010 Olympic Games, a number of interviewees – both governmental and nongovernmental – noted the singular pre-occupation with human trafficking for the purpose of
sexual exploitation at the expense of a serious consideration of the trafficking of labour as an
issue of concern.119 One immigration lawyer affiliated with the West Coast Domestic Workers’
Association indicated that the focus on sexual exploitation has been a characteristic feature of
anti-trafficking discourses in both British Columbia and Canada, the inference being that “sex
trafficking is the sole (or most odious) type of trafficking.” This trend, together with what she
described as the “growing acceptance among policymakers, enforcement officers, and the
general public that the Canadian immigration system is being systematically defrauded by socalled ‘low skilled’ workers,” has meant that “the gravity of labour trafficking” has largely been
ignored. A representative from Mosaic, a Vancouver-based immigration and refugee settlement
organization, further maintained that, within the aforementioned context, those persons affected
118
Ryan Raine, SIWSAG (Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 25 March 2010.
For example, Matthews, Public Safety; Esther Shannon, FIRST (Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 31 March
2010; Erika del Carmen Fuchs, Justicia for Migrant Workers and Organizing Centre for Social and Economic Justice
(Vancouver), In-Person Interview, 21 April 2010.
119
46
by human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation are considered to be, or have been
cast as, “second class victims.”120
None of the informants interviewed reported an increase in transnational labour trafficking prior
to and during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and none cited any specific cases that had
come to their attention in the context of their legal or service provision work in this period.
Furthermore, while immigration lawyers in Vancouver were under the impression that there
would be a surge in refugee claims and immigration cases during and immediately following the
event, this pattern did not materialize. Nonetheless, participants did comment on more general
trends they had observed in the period leading up to the Games. One immigration lawyer, who
provided legal representation to and organized information sessions on labour exploitation,
illegal recruitment practices, and labour rights for migrant domestic workers and live-in
caregivers through the West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association, noted an increasingly
enforcement-minded response at Canadian borders and “an upsurge” in airport-to-airport
deportations in Vancouver in the year prior to the 2010 Olympics. She further maintained that
many of the workers who were detained and were issued removal orders had been recruited
under false pretences, or had been defrauded by and owed substantial debts to recruitment
agents. These “coercive” circumstances, however, were not taken into account at the port of
entry; rather the workers were “treated as ‘complicit’ in their unlawful recruitment” to British
Columbia and were ordered to leave the country. For her and other legal advocates interviewed,
such trends underscored the need for a significant shift in national and provincial anti-trafficking
policies and practices - from a largely enforcement-driven response to one that focused on the
circumstances, interests, and needs of trafficked persons and temporary migrant workers. In the
latter case, this would entail the development of a more nuanced understanding of what
constitutes “coercion” in the context of labour trafficking and greater recognition that trafficked
persons, irregular migrants, and temporary foreign workers need access to free, expert, and
confidential legal advice and representation, as well as to more consistent, relevant, and better
funded services (including translation and interpretation). One legal advocate further emphasized
that, in her opinion, one of the reasons why so little is known about the scope and experiences of
transnational human trafficking in the Canadian or the British Columbia context is because
trafficked persons are reluctant or fearful to come forward and seek assistance because of the
perceived risks of criminalization and deportation. In an environment of heightened border
security, an “unwelcoming” immigration policy, and the criminalization of sex work, and in the
absence of substantive protections for trafficked persons and the lack guarantees that their needs
will be addressed and their rights prioritized, she maintained that the disincentives against selfdisclosure tend to overshadow the incentives to do so.121
120
Deanna Okun-Nachoff, West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association (Vancouver), E-Mail Interview, 23 March
2010; Deborah Issacs, Mosaic (Vancouver), Telephone Interview, 13 April 2010.
121
Okun-Nachoff, West Coast Domestic Workers; Naomi Minwalla, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer
(Vancouver), Telephone Interview, 1 April 2010; Pacey, Pivot. West Coast LEAF made a similar argument about
the barriers to self-identification and the need for a “victim-centred” approach with specific reference to human
trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation in a pre-2010 Vancouver Olympic Games “Position Paper on
Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation” (October 2009), 1-9 and E-Mail Statement, 22 March 2010.
47
With respect to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, a number of interviewees drew
attention to the number of temporary foreign workers hired in the construction, hospitality, and
service sectors in the period leading up to and during the Games. They also expressed concern
about the potential for deceitful and exploitative labour practices and employment standards
violations.122 The situation involving Latin American workers hired to construct the Canada Line
tunnel who, according to a 2007 BC Human Rights Tribunal ruling, experienced wage
discrimination as well as employer mistreatment and intimidation constituted the most publicized
labour relations case associated with the 2010 Olympic Games. However, one participant noted
that it was her understanding that, despite this ruling in their favour, the workers “were just sent
back” without receiving the $10,000 monetary compensation the joint-venture builders of the
Canada Line were ordered to pay each worker.123 In March 2010, the Service Employees
International Union, with the support of a British Columbia MP and a Vancouver City
Councillor, launched a campaign requesting that VANOC investigate workers’ complaints
against Sodexo, the company that was awarded the housekeeping and food services contract in
the Athletes Village and hired 900 workers during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In this
case, labour grievances ranged from unpaid wages, long hours, insufficient breaks, the rationing
of food and water, to the failure to provide adequate food safety training and unfair dismissals.
What remains unclear, however, is whether temporary foreign workers were among those hired
by the company and if they were among the 120 employees who were signatories to this
complaint.124 Finally, while not directly related to Olympic venues or VANOC contracts but
highlighting some of the vulnerabilities experienced by migrant workers in British Columbia,
Erika del Carmen Fuchs, a community organizer with Justicia for Migrant Workers and the
Organizing Centre for Social and Economic Justice, indicated that in January 2010, the
Organizing Centre filed 17 employment standards complaints on behalf of undocumented
migrant workers, half of whom were women. These workers were claiming $60,000 in unpaid
wages from RDM Hudson Enterprises, a company that obtained a painting contract from Bastion
Development Corporation, the developer of two major luxury condo projects in Vancouver. At
the time of the interview, she indicated that RDM Hudson Enterprises had undertaken retaliatory
measures against some of the workers and a number of them had been deported. However,
despite the fact that migrant workers, both documented and undocumented, had become more
dispensable as the pre-Olympic building boom on the Lower Mainland subsided and
notwithstanding the risks to the workers involved in this labour action, she remained hopeful that
122
For example, Issacs, Mosaic; Staff Person, OCTIP, In-Person Interview, 4 March 2010.
del Carmen Fuchs, Justicia. For newspaper coverage of this case, see, for example, “Trade Unions make
allegations of exploitation of foreign workers,” Alberni Valley Times, 2 June 2006; Janet Steffenhagen, “Canada
Line’s foreign workers join union,” Vancouver Sun, 1 July 2006; Gerry Bellett, “Foreign workers threatened,
hearing told,” Vancouver Sun, 14 July 2006; Kevin Potvin, “Taxpayers unknowingly paying for cheap foreign
labour,” Vancouver Courier, 9 August 2006; Kelly Sinoski, “Foreign workers coerced: tribunal; Latin Americans
pressured to break ranks with union,” Vancouver Sun, 13 November 2007; Richard Gilbert, “Human Rights tribunal
rules in favour of Latino construction workers,” Journal of Commerce, 19 November 2007; John Colebourn,
“Foreign workers get $10,000 each for shabby treatment; Latin Americans paid less, fared less well than other
imports,” The Province (Vancouver), 4 December 2008; Kelly Sinoski, “Latin American workers win $2.4-million
award; European workers received more pay, better accommodations,” Vancouver Sun, 4 December 2008.
124
Pacey, Pivot. See also “Reports Surface of Food Service Employees’ Mistreatment During Winter Olympics,”
Reuters, 12 March 2010.
123
48
ongoing organized pressure on the BC Employment Standards Branch and the companies
involved would result in the case being settled in the workers’ favour.125
Varying Definitions and Understandings of Human Trafficking
With few exceptions, federal and provincial government informants, law enforcement and border
services officers, and members of the NGO, service provision, and advocacy communities
interviewed relied on the Criminal Code or, where relevant, IRPA definitions of human
trafficking in their discussions and analyses of, as well as work and training in the area of
trafficking in persons in general and in the context of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in
particular. At the same time, a number of informants pointed out that human trafficking is a
relatively new criminal offence in Canada and as such, there is, as Matthew Taylor, Counsel at
Justice Canada, emphasized, a need for ongoing awareness raising and education at all levels on
what is and what is not trafficking in persons. Richele Léonard, a manager in the Border
Intelligence Division at CBSA national headquarters, further indicated that more clarity was
required in defining what constitutes labour exploitation within the context of transnational
human trafficking, and an immigration lawyer affiliated with the West Coast Domestic Workers’
Association called for a more nuanced understanding of “coercion,” including deceptive and
fraudulent recruitment practices, in the process of labour migration/trafficking.126
Interviewees across stakeholder sectors also noted that, notwithstanding existent legal
definitions, in the lead up to and during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, divergent
understandings of trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation were in
circulation, with some members of civil society, NGOs, and faith-based groups promoting
interpretations that conflated or tended to conflate transnational and domestic human trafficking
and prostitution.127 It was further suggested that this latter conceptualization shaped some of the
most vocal, visible, and well-funded local public awareness campaigns prior to and during the
Olympic Games, ones that focused on a predicted spike in male demand for paid sexual services
during the event as the main driving force behind the anticipated increase in the transnational and
domestic trafficking of women and youth into the commercial sex sector.128 While some
informants indicated that these campaigns did spark growing awareness as well as public and
media discussions about human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation both
provincially and nationally and two participants pointed out that they might have interfered with
125
del Carmen Fuchs, Justicia. See also Carlito Pablo, “Migrant workers claim unpaid wages on two Vancouver
residential building projects,” straight.com, 18 March 2010; Murray Bush, “Ripped off migrant workers say NO! to
wage theft,” mediacoop, 20 March 2010.
126
Olson, CBSA; Goguen, Public Safety; Supervisor, CIC BC/Yukon; Sergeant, Vice Unit, VPD; Wijayakoon,
RCMP E Division; Taylor, Justice Canada; Léonard, CBSA; Okun-Nachoff, West Coast Domestic Workers.
127
Goguen, Public Safety; Wijayakoon, RCMP E Division; Officer, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing, VPD; Yee,
NYSHN; Raine, SIWSAG; Shannon, UBC; Gibson, WISH; Porth, PACE; Allan, Jen’s Kitchen; Thindal, ORCHID.
128
Informants focused on the Salvation Army’s “The Truth Isn’t Sexy” advertisements and billboards, and to a
lesser extent, REED’s “Buying Sex is Not a Sport” campaign.
49
demand for paid sexual services during the Olympic Games,129 there were also specific concerns
expressed about their implications and impacts.
A number of informants emphasized that the aforementioned campaigns and the public and
media discussions that ensued focused more on the highly polarized “prostitution debates” and
the ideological differences underlying them than on human trafficking per se.130 Some
participants went beyond this observation and suggested that the intent behind the initiatives was
less about combating and preventing trafficking in persons and more about “raising the hysteria
about and fear around trafficking to abolish sex work as a whole,” to build organizational
profiles, and to gain access to funding.131 Despite ideological differences, NGO representatives
in particular emphasized that common ground did and does exist among stakeholders rooted in
the general principle that coercion, violence, and exploitation are unacceptable in all sectors,
including the sex industry. They also did not out rule the possibility that human trafficking for
the purpose of sexual exploitation might have occurred prior to and during the Olympic Games
with the risk of domestic trafficking specifically mentioned. Nonetheless, participants did
question the extent to which the information and statistics presented in the media and in public
awareness campaigns in the lead up to the Games were accurate.132 Media discussions were not
only characterized as “simplistic,” “exaggerated,” and “sensationalistic,” but also as “selective”
and “biased” in their coverage of divergent perspectives on the question of a potential increase in
human trafficking during the Olympic Games. The Salvation Army’s ad and billboard campaign
was described as unduly “graphic,” “fear-mongering,” “disturbing,” “misleading,” and slim on
concrete evidence that supported the claims about a strong connection between mega sporting
events and a spike in human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In addition, some
informants queried the advertisements’ educational value, arguing that they were designed to
evoke emotional responses from the public, rather than engendering an informed and meaningful
understanding of the systemic causes, nature, and realities of human trafficking into multiple
sites and how to engage with the issue. As Katrina Pacey from Pivot Legal Society noted, “We
are horrified and then it doesn’t give us anything to do with it.” Another informant took issue
with the images contained in the ads, stating that “having a billboard of an underage girl in her
underwear being stomped on can be triggering; it’s very graphic. It’s selling sex and violence to
prevent them. The posters themselves were actually very titillating in the imagery that they used.
We heard a lot of comments and complaints about this from a lot of workers.”133 With reference
to such imagery, interviewees also questioned the extent to which the advertisements served as a
129
For example, Michelle Miller, Executive Director of REED, noted that in her estimation, the “Buying Sex is Not
a Sport” campaign did “interfere with the demand for paid sex and educated people about the gender-based violence
of the sex industry.” Michelle Miller, Executive Director, REED (Vancouver), E-Mail Correspondence, 6 April
2010. Also Issacs, Mosaic.
130
Dahlin, Victim Services; Officer, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing, VPD; Pacey, Pivot; Gibson, WISH; Raine,
SIWSAG; Anonymous, Human Trafficking Researcher, In-Person Interview, 4 March 2010.
131
Porth, PACE; Allan, Jen’s Kitchen; Davis, West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals; Shannon,
FIRST; Casey, Ph.D., UVic.
132
Wijayakoon, RCMP E Division; Sergeant, Vice Unit, VDP; Shannon, UBC; Taylor, Hustle; Casey, Ph.D., UVic;
Gibson, WISH; Porth, PACE; Irons, MAP Van; Thindal, ORCHID; O’Doherty, SIWSAG; Davis, West Coast
Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals; Shannon, FIRST.
133
Pacey, Pivot; Raine, SIWSAG; Officer, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing, VPD; Shannon, FIRST; O’Doherty,
SIWSAG.
50
deterrent – whether mitigating the demand for paid sexual services or curbing violent behavior;
as one participant pointed out, “perpetuators of violence, I don’t think, are going to be turned off
by images of violence.134 For frontline workers in particular, such campaigns were symptomatic
of the “top-down” character of anti-trafficking initiatives, research, and advocacy more
generally. Critical limitations identified included a lack of evidence- and community-based
research on human trafficking in the BC context, the absence of systematic consultation, ongoing
engagement, and strong partnerships with sex workers, marginalized local populations, and
grassroots frontline workers, as well as insufficient attention to “what community is really
living” – everyday, on-the-ground realities in all of their complexities.135
Some interviewees focused on the unintended consequences of and harms produced by some of
the anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns prior to and during the 2010 Olympics Games.
While local enforcement personnel pointed out that they sought to take a proactive and
responsive approach to the potential risk of an increase in trafficking in persons prior to and
during the Games, two VPD officers indicated that, given the multiple definitions of human
trafficking circulating among the public due in part to pre-Olympic awareness initiatives, an
already stretched local police department was increasingly fielding calls about trafficking in
persons that did not fit existing definitions.136 Within the context of publicized predictions about
an anticipated spike in human trafficking during the Olympics and in the absence of concrete
data, one service provider indicated that, prior to the Games, she and other service providers
found “not knowing what our numbers were going to be” to be “nerve wracking”; they were also
apprehensive about the overall lack of resources and supports available at the local level to meet
projected needs.137 Besides such specific spillover effects, a number of frontline workers, NGO
representatives, and legal advocates were principally concerned about the traumatizing,
marginalizing, and stigmatizing effects that the advertisements and the actions outside of strip
clubs had on sex workers and exotic dancers. For example, as one informant pointed out, the
protests outside of two Vancouver strip clubs “caused a lot of emotional trauma for the dancers.
It also discourages customers from coming in which of course is one of the purposes. But in
discouraging customers from coming in, it then takes away the dancers’ income … It is also
harder in that environment to stay positive and focused on that when people are telling you that
you are wrong. There were definitely some dancers who were not happy about that.”138 Referring
to similar complaints received from those directly affected by the aforementioned campaigns,
some participants argued that these initiatives advanced gendered as well as racialized
stereotypical assumptions about the “Winter Olympics fan base,” trafficking victims, and sex
workers; in the latter case, such generalizations were perceived as perpetuating discriminatory
134
Porth, PACE; Irons, MAP Van.
Allan, Jen’s Kitchen; Gibson, WISH; Thindal, ORCHID; O’Doherty, SIWSAG; Shannon, FIRST.
136
Officer, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing, VPD; Sergeant, Vice Unit, VPD.
137
Arthur, Surrey Women’s Centre.
138
Raine, SIWSAG. Michelle Miller, the Executive Director of REED, however, maintained that the media
misrepresented the organization’s direct actions during the Games. She emphasized that, “they were silent and nonviolent. There was absolutely no shouting at the women.” Miller, REED.
135
51
attitudes toward and promoting enhanced harassment and policing of already stigmatized and
criminalized populations.139
A number of interviewees further argued that the public awareness campaigns with their specific
focus on human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation – “the most profound or
egregious cases of exploitation” involving what one informant described as “perfect victims” –
tended to detract “from all the needs along the spectrum of sex work, which are all profound and
important.” As one informant emphasized, sex workers “have a very important set of needs that
are not being fulfilled by a poster of a beaten woman.” Another participant asked, “How much
time are we spending on this conversation when people should be stepping up and putting the
supports in place.” More specifically, some frontline workers took issue with the amount of
funding, resources, and energy expressly dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking,
rescuing “sex trafficking victims,” and “putting traffickers in jail,” while the safety and wellbeing of those on the margins of the “perfect victim paradigm” were often overlooked or
disregarded. “I have a concern,” said one interviewee, “about how much attention trafficking and
sexual exploitation gets without equally addressing how to best support those who are out there
now working, whether it is by choice or otherwise. So when we are talking about just abolishing
the sex trade, for example, because of exploitation, that doesn’t do a lot to support women who
are on the streets or indoors because it is further criminalizing their activities.”140
In light of the above concerns, some informants strongly advocated for more evidence-based
research on and nuanced analysis of trafficking in persons in the BC and Lower Mainland
contexts. The absence of concrete and accurate data was viewed as doing “a disservice” not only
“to women who are being trafficked and organizations that do want to service that population
because there is not good evidence,” but also to sex workers who are often directly and,
according to some interviewees, adversely affected by certain anti-trafficking discourses,
campaigns, and interventions. As one frontline worker stressed, “We need to look at who is out
there now, who is vulnerable as we speak. These are the lives we are affecting by the initiatives
that are happening, by the policies created. Anything that further drives anyone underground is
not making anyone safer.”141
National Statistics on Human Trafficking, Reported Cases, and Links to the 2010
Olympic Games
As noted in the Introduction, it is now widely recognized that generating comprehensive,
accurate, and comparable global and national human trafficking statistics poses specific
challenges. As documented in a recent RCMP report, Human Trafficking in Canada (March
2010), a study conducted by the Centre for Justice Statistics entitled, Towards the Development
of a National Data Collections Framework to Measure Trafficking in Persons (June 2010), and
interviews conducted with a number of federal government and enforcement representatives,
139
Casey, Ph.D., UVic; Pacey, Pivot; Irons, MAP Van; Thindal, ORCHID; Yee, NYSHN; O’Doherty, SIWSAG;
Davis, West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry Professionals; Shannon, FIRST.
140
Allan, Jen’s Kitchen; Pacey, Pivot; Gibson, WISH; Irons, MAP Van; Yee, NYSHN.
141
Shannon, UBC; Raine, SIWSAG; Irons, MAP Van.
52
similar difficulties exist in Canada.142 Such statistical challenges prohibited the researchers from
securing methodological baseline data for pre-Olympic and post-Olympic Games comparative
purposes.
Nonetheless, with the caveat articulated by various federal and enforcement officials that each
statistical piece offers a partial picture of the overall scope of human trafficking in Canada, the
aforementioned sources did provide the researchers with basic information about documented
cases of human trafficking in Canada and British Columbia. For example, the RCMP reported
that between 2005 and 2009, 5 human trafficking convictions under the Criminal Code had been
secured and as of 15 November 2009, an additional 22 cases were before the courts; all of these
cases involved domestic trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and none of them
originated in British Columbia. Our interview with a member of the RCMP’s Human Trafficking
National Coordination Centre indicated that, as of June 2010, there was one international human
trafficking case awaiting trial and about 30 domestic cases from various police services before
the courts across Canada, but “there were no RCMP investigations linking human trafficking to
the Olympic Games.”143 At the local level, one RCMP E Division, Immigration and Passport
Unit officer emphasized that the RCMP in British Columbia does receive a considerable number
of trafficking in persons tips, each of which are investigated and necessary social supports are
made available; however, one of the main challenges has been securing criminal charge approval
based on the available evidence due to the threshold required.144 At the same time, another
RCMP E Division, Immigration and Passport Unit officer indicated that, at the time of the
interview, his unit was investigating 4 trafficking in persons cases (1 sexual exploitation and 3
labour exploitation), but that these were “completely unrelated” to the 2010 Olympic Games. On
24 August 2010, a member of the unit confirmed that there were no human trafficking cases
under investigation that were connected to the event.145
Furthermore, a senior analyst at the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, a division of Statistics
Canada that “collects information on the nature and extent of crime and the administration of
justice in Canada,” indicated that the 2008 Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey
(UCR2) “reported a total of 12 incidents of trafficking in persons that were reported by police
across Canada,” but no further breakdown according to province or human trafficking site was
provided. Furthermore, at the time of the interview, 2009 figures were not yet available nor were
they included in Statistics Canada’s official report released in July 2010; reported incidents for
142
RCMP, Human Trafficking in Canada (Ottawa, March 2010), 8-9; Ogrodnik, Towards the Development of a
National Data Collection Framework to Measure Trafficking in Persons, 5; Goguen, Public Safety; Léonard,
CBSA; Olson, CBSA; Taylor, Justice Canada; Deans, CIC; Officer, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing, VPD.
143
RCMP, Human Trafficking in Canada, 20-26; Arsenault, RCMP.
144
Officer, RCMP E Division. Matthew Taylor at Justice Canada, made a similar point when he stated, “When
we’re talking about exploitation as we define it in the Criminal Code for the purposes of trafficking in persons
offences, that’s at one end of the spectrum and it is a high threshold to meet for valid criminal law purposes. We are
talking about fourteen years, life in prison penalties [which are] amongst the most serious penalties that are available
under Canadian criminal law. Given that the conduct has to be proportional, you have a very high threshold to meet
in establishing exploitation in the trafficking of persons. If you can’t meet it, it is not to say that the conduct that is
being looked at isn’t exploitative or egregious or criminally blameworthy. It means that it’s not going to be in that
particular box.” Taylor, Justice Canada.
145
Wijayakoon, RCMP E Division; Officer, RCMP E Division.
53
2010 will not be available until July 2011, but a VPD Vice Unit officer interviewed noted that, as
of mid-March 2010, the UCR code for human trafficking was zero.146
In the transnational realm, Derrick Deans at Citizenship and Immigration provided data on the
number of TRPs granted between May 2006 and December 2009. In this period, 54 TRPs were
issued to 43 transnational trafficked persons, 31 to females and 12 to males; 27 were granted in
2009, 20 in 2008, 4 in 2007, and 3 in 2006. Of these, 28 were issued on the basis of labour
exploitation and 10 on the basis of sexual exploitation; the top two countries of origin identified
were Thailand and Moldova:147
GENDER
31
12
REGION WHERE FOUND
Ontario
29
Prairies/NWT
11
Other
3
TOTAL
43 Foreign Victims
of TIP
TYPE OF EXPLOITATION
Labour
28
Sexual
10
Other
5
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Thailand
20
Moldova
10
Other
13
TOTAL
43 Foreign Victims
of TIP
Female
Male
While TRP data for British Columbia were not specified above due to privacy considerations,
further research indicated that CIC issued 6 TRPs in the province between May 2009 and
January 2010, 5 for labour exploitation (female) and 1 for sexual exploitation (female).148 While
4 of the human trafficking cases involving labour exploitation under investigation and issued in
December 2009/January 2010 were identified in two interviews as potentially linked to the 2010
Olympic Games, a regional CIC official, in reviewing the basic contours of the cases, indicated
in his interview that there was no connection to the event; another provincial informant noted
that the other 2 TRPs (1 labour exploitation and 1 sexual exploitation) were unrelated to the
Games. One Surrey-based service provision agency was consulted on 1 TRP involving female
sexual exploitation in February 2010, but this case was not “directly linked” to the Olympic
Games. As of mid-July 2010, 2 (possibly 3) additional labour exploitation TRP cases involving
females came to the attention of CIC in British Columbia after the conclusion of the event.
However, none of these cases were, according to a regional CIC official, “even remotely” related
to the Games.149 Researchers were unable to obtain further details on the 22 refugee claims made
after the conclusion of the Olympic Games as reported in the press.150 In general, then, with the
146
Senior Analyst, Statistics Canada; Mia Dauvergne and John Turner, “Police-reported crime statistics in Canada,
2009,” Juristat, 30, 2 (Summer 2010): 1-37; Sergeant, Vice Unit, VPD.
147
As further noted by Deans, “during the same period, 36 foreign nationals requested, but were not issued a TRP.
The reasons for refusal include that the client: had existing immigration status, claimed refugee status, was issued a
TRP under Humanitarian and Compassionate consideration (not as a VTIP), or refused assistance for a variety of
reasons including wanting to return home.” Deans, CIC.
148
Hopkins, CIC BC/Yukon. See also, OCTIP, Staying Current (April 2010), 2.
149
Hopkins, CIC BC/Yukon; Arthur, Surrey Women’s Centre. Hopkins also noted that, when CIC officers
conducted the interviews with potential trafficked persons prior to, during, and after the Olympic Games, they were
“very conscious of whether or not there could be a connection to the Olympics so that [was] very much in our
minds.”
150
“22 refugee claims made after Vancouver Olympics,” Canadian Press, 18 April 2010.
54
exception of two interviewees and with the caveat expressed by some participants that cases of
human trafficking and particularly domestic trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation
might have escaped detection by enforcement and frontline workers, all of the informants across
stakeholder sectors seemed to suggest that they had no specific knowledge of or that there was
no concrete and verifiable evidence of trafficking in persons for the purposes of sexual or labour
exploitation linked to the 2010 Olympic Games.151
At the same time, media reports and data from two interviews suggested that there were
indications that human trafficking did occur prior to and during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics
and that further trafficking in persons cases connected to the event would undoubtedly surface
over time. Some of the indicators mentioned included assertions that human traffickers had been
operating in Vancouver for at least a year prior to the event and viewed it “as the biggest
opportunity for them in decades,” and that a “virtual sex slave market” was flourishing on
Craigslist where women were “offered anonymously for ‘sale’ in the lead up to the Games.”
There were also references to frontline workers’ reports of coerced movements of young women
from Toronto, Winnipeg, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Maritimes, Northern Ontario, and BC
communities to Vancouver, “a marked increase in underage girls on the streets of Vancouver” in
the lead up to the Games who “weren’t there before,” and a “staggering increase in demand for
prostitution in Vancouver and Whistler” during the event. More specific accounts referred to
“dozens” of young women who were trafficked from “urban centres” and “native reserves” to
Vancouver, a number of whom were rescued, as well as to at least 10 women/girls who were
rescued (4 of whom received the TRPs discussed above and 6 who were said to have been
trafficked domestically). In addition, a local “Women’s Shelter claimed to have housed five
women who had been trafficked specifically for the Games”; these were identified as potential
transnational trafficking in persons cases for the purpose of sexual exploitation. One informant
concluded that “what appears to have happened is that there was a combination of foreign sex
trafficking as well as domestic sex trafficking of women and underage girls as well as women
who were already being exploited in the sex trade by their pimps or traffickers that were likely
exploited during the 2010 Games.”152 Interviews with federal and local enforcement officials
151
The two interviewees who took exception to this conclusion were: Joy Smith, MP, Kildonan-St Paul; and
Anonymous, Human Trafficking Researcher. Otherwise, interviews conducted with federal, regional, and local
enforcement officials, provincial agencies staff, NGO representatives, frontline workers, and advocates discussed in
this section tended to draw this general conclusion. Crime Stoppers also indicated that, from the perspective of its
coordinators, there was no correlation between human trafficking and the Olympics. Tim Kelley, Crime Stoppers, EMail Statement, 16 March 2010. Richele Léonard, manager in the Border Intelligence Division at CBSA national
headquarters, noted that one could assume that, with increased awareness, there would be better recognition if
human trafficking was occurring prior to and during the Olympics. Nonetheless, she further emphasized that it is
important to ask whether “we were looking for the right ingredients.” Léonard, CBSA.
152
Smith, MP, Kildonan-St Paul; Kathie Wallace, “Human Trafficking Alive and Well for the 2010 Olympics,”
Vancouver Observer, 2 February 2010 and “Slavery isn’t Sexy: A Hard Look at the Underbelly of the Olympics,”
Vancouver Observer, 16 February 2010; Joy Smith, “Seamy side to Olympics Canada’s shame,” Winnipeg Free
Press, 2 March 2010; Mara Kardas-Nelson, “Human trafficking and The Games,” rabble.ca, 25 February 2010;
Citizen Summit Against Sex Slavery, “VANOC, BC and Canada get F for ‘Sex Games’: Citizen Summit Confirms
Youth and Women Trafficked into Sex Slavery for Olympics,” Press Release, 9 February 2010; Mike Barber,
“Vancouver Olympics get an ‘F’ for failing to curb sex trafficking: group,” Canwest News Service, 9 February 2010;
Anonymous, Human Trafficking Researcher; Gillian Shaw, “Pimp offers pregnant teen for sex in online ad:
55
revealed that they were well aware of various public statements and media reports about women
and youth being trafficked to the Lower Mainland for the purpose of sexual exploitation prior to
the Olympic Games. While they indicated that they had made it clear to those making the
assertions that they were prepared to investigate each case “to the fullest,” no cases were brought
forward and as of the end of August 2010, none had reached the level of investigation.153
Measuring Effectiveness and Assessing Outcomes
With respect to assessing observed outcomes, particularly as they pertained to transnational and
domestic trafficking in persons for sexual or labour exploitation in the context of the 2010
Vancouver Olympic Games, researchers asked participants to evaluate the extent to which their
department, agency, or organization had accomplished their objectives as well as to comment on
the effectiveness of the prevention measures implemented prior to the event. While at the time of
the interviews, few informants indicated that they had initiated or were engaged in a formal or
substantive evaluation process, researchers did receive a range of responses.
One human trafficking researcher maintained, as noted above, that there were significant
indicators that transnational and domestic trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation had
occurred prior to and during the 2010 Olympic Games. While conceding that there has been
“growing interest” in and “awareness” of the issue both nationally and provincially over the last
decade, this informant maintained that the overall preparation for an anticipated increase in
trafficking in persons prior and during the event was sluggish with no concrete action plan in
place to effectively address this eventuality, the issue was not sufficiently prioritized and
inadequately resourced in enforcement communities, and the training of enforcement in human
trafficking indicators was unsophisticated and “not yet at the level they need to be for focused
interventions.” It was further argued that these deficiencies were symptomatic of the
unwillingness on the part of Olympic organizers and relevant government agencies to “accept”
human trafficking as a “serious” and “legitimate” problem. The interviewee also emphasized that
conducting research that focused on the question of whether or not an increase in trafficking in
persons occurred during the 2010 Olympic Games was myopic and could potentially have “a
very damaging impact,” as did the “don’t worry, be happy” conclusions of the IOM report. For
this informant, it was more important to examine the extent to which “this major event had an
impact on the sexual exploitation of men, women, youth as well as the labour trafficking side.”154
Exploitation of youth moves to the Internet,” Vancouver Sun, 8 March 2010; Lorna Dueck, “Sex for sale is hardly
sporting,” Globe and Mail, 8 February 2010; Lorna Dueck, Listen Up TV, Telephone Interview, 5 April 2010;
London Councils and GLE, The 2012 Games and human trafficking: Identifying possible risks and relevant good
practice from other cities (January 2011), 18.
153
For example, Arsenault, RCMP; Wijayakoon, RCMP E Division; Officer, RCMP E Division.
154
Anonymous, Human Trafficking Researcher. In her interview, Joy Smith also expressed concern about the lack
of police resources dedicated to human trafficking during the 2010 Olympic Games. In addition, while she
commended the RCMP E Division for “following up on potential leads” during the event, she further noted that one
limitation was that some enforcement officers had undergone human trafficking training and others had not. Smith,
MP, Kildonan-St Paul.
56
While cognizant of critiques concerning insufficient pre-Games planning and preparation, a
number of federal informants indicated that the IWGTIP Olympics working group had
accomplished its principal goal, which was to develop and implement a solid, proactive,
coordinated, and multi-sectoral strategy designed to prevent and combat trafficking in persons
during the event. Based on internal intelligence data and consistent with the prevention measures
operationalized by other host nations with a focus on training, education, awareness, intelligence
gathering, information sharing, and partnerships, federal interviewees as well as members of
regional and provincial agencies expressed confidence that appropriate security measures,
monitoring procedures, referral mechanisms, and support services were in place, and that trained
local personnel were prepared and equipped to intervene and respond should transnational and
domestic human trafficking cases materialize during the event.155 That said, one Public Safety
representative suggested that it would have been ideal to have increased the focus on forced
labour prior to the Olympics, namely during the infrastructure and venue construction phase
several years prior to the actual event.156
In terms of assessing and measuring the effectiveness of various initiatives in preventing
trafficking in persons prior to and during the Games, federal informants offered differing
perspectives. CBSA and CIC participants indicated that it was difficult to conduct an evaluation,
given that the measures had been operationalized relatively recently, the dearth of concrete
information about human trafficking trends and its nature and scope in British Columbia, the
absence of baseline statistical data as points of comparison, and the lack of systematic
mechanisms to track and manage information. One CBSA interviewee suggested that, in the
post-Olympic period, it would be more pertinent to consider the following:
“What have we learned from the event? What information is now at our disposal? And what can
we do better in terms of learning for future events or future dealings on human trafficking issues.
I think we are far from measuring the effectiveness in Canada yet … I think we are at the very
beginning; we are still at the awareness and education phase. Did the Olympics have an impact
on raising this, absolutely and that’s one of the major highlights so it has brought more efforts.
Had it not been for the Olympics, I don’t think we would have had the same level of effort at this
point with the limited resources we have at our disposal … Is it [greater awareness] sufficient? I
don’t think so. That is only the beginning, that is only the tip of the iceberg … I think we need to
look at what did we learn? What do we know? And where do we go from here?”157
In contrast, federal interviewees and other stakeholder participants did identify what they
considered to be tangible effects of the trafficking in persons prevention efforts initiated in the
period leading up to the 2010 Olympic Games. One federal participant pointed to the fact that the
level of national and provincial awareness of and engagement with the issue of human trafficking
155
For example, Matthews, Public Safety; Taylor, Justice Canada; Olson, CBSA; Deans, CIC; Hopkins, CIC
BC/Yukon; Arsenault, RCMP; Officer, RCMP E Division; Officer, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing, VPD; Staff
Person, OCTIP; Dahlin, Victim Services. Two local police officers, however, expressed some frustration about the
amount of enforcement resources allocated to combating trafficking in persons during the Games. Wijayakoon,
RCMP E Division; Sergeant, Vice Unit, VDP.
156
Goguen, Public Safety.
157
Léonard, CBSA. Also Deans, CIC; Olson, CBSA.
57
in various sectors had increased significantly in recent years. RCMP and regional CIC
representatives attributed the rise in the number of human trafficking reports and investigations
to enhanced and targeted enforcement training as well as to greater NGO and public awareness
of the issue.158 Local NGO representatives also noted that the public as well as frontline workers
were “paying more attention to human trafficking” and youth sexual exploitation, and that
services providers were “better trained in identification.”159 While a number of interviewees
mentioned the need for ongoing public awareness raising and targeted training at all levels,
including more serious consideration of labour trafficking, others stressed that the rights and
needs of, and the provision of substantive legal and social supports for, trafficked persons
affected by sexual and labour exploitation should be prioritized in official government policies,
practices, and funding allocations. As one immigration lawyer argued, “I think it is disgraceful to
create big institutions, 1-800 hotlines, websites, when the reality is that more than likely
trafficked persons go to the NGO down the road who is doing all of this for free or on a shoe
string budget.” In a similar vein, another immigration lawyer insisted that active consultation
with all relevant service providers prior to hallmark sporting events in order “to identify needs
and develop funded service strategies” was essential.160
The priority of Vancouver sex worker organizations and outreach workers was to ensure the
safety of their constituents, and this was accomplished through information dissemination,
enhanced outreach, and the provision of additional supports. Another important feature of this
strategy was the development of a collaborative multi-stakeholder community partnership with
Vancouver law enforcement, in order to address concerns about criminalization, displacement,
and harassment of, as well as violence toward, sex workers, especially in light of the influx of
law enforcement, security personnel, and tourists into the city. With some notable exceptions
documented above, the general consensus among frontline workers was that their “worst fears”
were not realized. Finally, contrary to skepticism expressed by one human trafficking
researcher,161 sex worker advocates and one VPD officer further argued that the best sources of
information on human trafficking are those attuned to realities on the ground, such as sex
workers and sex worker organizations in the case of transnational and domestic trafficking in
persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Hence, it was recommended that active
consultations and the fostering of partnerships with these sectors and with community-based,
grassroots organizations should be an integral component of anti-trafficking policies, practices,
and campaigns.162 Finally, there was evidence to suggest that the predicted and anticipated spike
in demand for paid sexual services during the Olympic Games did not materialize. Participants
attributed this trend to a number of possible factors, including the enhanced presence of security
158
Taylor, Justice Canada; Arsenault, RCMP; Officer, RCMP E Division; Hopkins, CIC BC/Yukon.
Arthur, Surrey Women’s Centre; Representative, Children of the Street; MacDaniel, Whistler Community
Services.
160
Okun-Nachoff, West Coast Domestic Workers; Minwalla, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer.
161
The informant argued that, “we don’t see human trafficking cases being reported from the sex trade itself, so I
really do kind of question the whole ‘we know what is going on thing’ … If it is happening it is not being reported
to authorities.” Anonymous, Human Trafficking Researcher.
162
Officer, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing, VPD; Shannon, FIRST; Davis, West Coast Cooperative of Sex
Industry Professionals; Allan, Jen’s Kitchen; Taylor, Hustle; Raine, SIWSAG; Gibson, WISH; O’Doherty,
SIWSAG.
159
58
and law enforcement in the downtown area and a more “family-centred” fan base at the event;
there was, however, no agreement on whether or not the public awareness campaigns that
targeted male demand for paid sexual services prior to and during the Games had the desired
effect.
While not diminishing the importance of implementing proactive prevention measures and
coordinating multi-sector partnerships and social supports in host countries/regions, interviewees
across stakeholder sectors returned to data that suggested that mega sporting events were not
necessarily optimum and profitable environments for the operations of transnational and
domestic traffickers particularly in the commercial sex sector, due to heightened security and
enforcement in host cities/regions and the short duration of such events. In addition, some
participants questioned the presumed connection between male behaviour and sporting events,
while others argued that, rather than operating under the assumption that all mega sporting
events are the “same,” as the most vocal anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns tended to
assert, more nuanced distinctions between various international hallmark events were necessary.
In the latter case, with reference to claims about increased male demand for paid sexual services
as fueling a spike in human trafficking within the commercial sex sector, some participants
stressed the unique character of Winter Olympics with its more “family-oriented” fan base.163
Others suggested that existing prostitution and labour laws in, and migration patterns to and
within, host nations/regions might constitute other distinguishing factors; one informant also
hinted at possible differences between international sporting events hosted in better-resourced
First World countries/regions and those held in Third World nations.164
In the end analysis, informants across stakeholder sectors did not identify a single determining
factor that contributed to creating a low risk environment for human trafficking during mega
sporting events in general and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in particular. However,
consistent with other studies that have assessed human trafficking prevention strategies in the
context of international sporting events, the importance of adopting an evidence-based approach
was emphasized. This general principle would apply equally to governmental and nongovernmental agencies when developing prevention and intervention measures, public awareness
campaigns, and appropriate assistance regimes for trafficked persons should the need
materialize.
Key Informant Recommendations
In terms of recommendations for future organizers of mega sporting events, there were a number
of suggestions that emerged from the interviews. In summary, these included the following:
163
Arsenault, RCMP; Olson, CBSA; Wijayakoon, RCMP E Division; Officer, RCMP E Division; Officer, Diversity
and Aboriginal Policing, VPD; Dahlin, Victim Services; Davis, West Coast Cooperative of Sex Industry
Professionals; Shannon, FIRST.
164
Arsenault, RCMP; Officer, RCMP E Division; Shannon, FIRST; Horton, SOLOS.
59
 Examine the histories of and the lessons learned from previous international sporting
events as well as the policies and practices implemented by other host nations/regions.165 This
would include an analysis of the anticipated fan base.166
 Engage in an early assessment of the risk of human trafficking in the host
country/region/city using an evidence-based approach, and develop appropriate prevention
strategies accordingly.167 Labour trafficking should receive equivalent attention to trafficking in
persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and prevention initiatives, including guiding
principles for employers, should be initiated during the infrastructure and venue construction
phase.168
 Establish mechanisms based on a consistent definitional methodology to track trafficking
in persons information, data, and measurements, and conduct data collection prior, during, and
after the event.169
 Strategic planning and implementation should include the development of a clearly
defined human trafficking prevention plan with milestones and benchmarks, the fostering of
partnerships, networks, coordination, and information sharing among relevant government
agencies, enforcement bodies, and with NGOs, and the establishment of appropriate investigative
protocols and referral mechanisms to monitor the situation on the ground and to respond to the
support needs of trafficked persons.170 Key partnerships and consultations on strategic planning
should also involve Indigenous, youth, sex worker, and migrant worker organizations/advocates
as well as grassroots community-based groups.171
 In consultation with relevant NGOs and community-based partners, ensure that relevant
and funded service strategies are in place to serve the needs of trafficked persons, as well as
irregular migrant workers (including free and confidential legal advice and representation,
interpreters, and translation).172
 Conduct targeted trafficking in persons awareness training of enforcement personnel
(police officers, immigration and border officials), criminal justice officials, labour inspectors,
first responders and NGO partners, as well as private sector employers and employees in such
areas as construction, hospitality services, and transportation.173 This instruction should also
include “sensitivity training” of all security and enforcement officers seconded to the event.
Special attention should be paid to non-discriminatory treatment of foreign nationals at ports of
entry and temporary foreign workers regardless of labour site, as well as to the rights, safety, and
165
Taylor, Justice Canada; Deans, CIC; Horton, SOLOS; O’Doherty, SIWSAG.
Wijayakoon, RCMP E Division.
167
Sergeant, Vice Unit, VPD; Irons, MAP Van; Shannon, UBC; Anonymous, Human Trafficking Researcher.
168
Olson, CBSA; Okun-Nachoff, West Coast Domestic Workers; Issacs, Mosaic; del Carmen Fuchs, Justicia; Pacey,
Pivot; Goguen, Public Safety.
169
Léonard, CBSA; Olson, CBSA; Officer, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing, VPD.
170
Taylor, Justice Canada; Deans, CIC; Senior Policy Advisor, HRSDC; Officer, RCMP E Division; Anonymous,
Human Trafficking Researcher.
171
Grey, Urban Native Youth; Okun-Nachoff, West Coast Domestic Workers; Raine, SIWSAG; O’Doherty,
SIWSAG; Allan, Jen’s Kitchen; Thindal, ORCHID; Gibson, WISH; Taylor, Hustle; Shannon, FIRST.
172
Okun-Nachoff, West Coast Domestic Workers; Minwalla, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer; Arthur, Surrey
Women’s Centre.
173
Goguen, Public Safety; Taylor, Justice Canada; Olson, CBSA; Deans, CIC; Supervisor, CIC BC/Yukon;
Arsenault, RCMP; Officer, RCMP E Division; Representative, Children of the Street; Arthur, Surrey Women’s
Centre; Anonymous, Human Trafficking Researcher.
166
60
needs of marginalized, stigmatized, vulnerable, and diverse local populations whose lives and
work might be negatively impacted by the influx of tourists, an enhanced security and
enforcement apparatus in their communities, as well as by certain anti-trafficking interventions
(for example, massage parlour raids).174
 Devise and initiate a national or regional trafficking in persons public awareness
campaign,175 with input from all relevant community stakeholders. Such a campaign should be
accurate, evidence-based, and adhere to the principle of “do no harm.”176
While attuned to the unique features of international hallmark events, a number of interviewees
emphasized that many of the anti-trafficking prevention measures identified above should not
merely be event-focused, but rather should be integral ingredients of a sustainable national
trafficking in persons strategy.177
VIII. Conclusions and Recommendations
The main focus of this study was to examine whether and to what extent the presence of the 2010
Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games on the Lower Mainland had an impact on the level
of transnational and domestic human trafficking for the purposes of sexual and labour
exploitation. Research involved examining available data on the link between trafficking in
persons and previous mega sporting events, analyzing media, online, and public discussions that
focused on human trafficking prior to and during the Olympic Games, and telephone, in-person,
and e-mail interviews with 61 key informants representing national, provincial, and local
governmental and non-governmental sectors. In the process of investigating the main research
question, the research team also considered the dynamics of pre-Olympic anti-trafficking
discourses and campaigns, what trafficking in persons prevention measures were implemented
by government, enforcement, and non-governmental groups and the reported effectiveness of
those strategies, as well as the key recommendations that emerged from interview participants.
The interview data provided contrary evidence about whether or not there were indications that
human trafficking had occurred prior to and during the 2010 Olympic Games. Nonetheless,
without out ruling the possibility that human trafficking for the purposes of labour and sexual
exploitation might have evaded detection with the risk of domestic trafficking into the
commercial sex sector specifically mentioned, the vast majority of informants across stakeholder
sectors suggested that they had no specific knowledge of or that there was no concrete and
verifiable evidence of trafficking in persons for the purposes of sexual or labour exploitation
linked to the 2010 Olympic Games. In addition, as of the end of August 2010, no trafficking in
persons cases connected to the event had reached the level of investigation. There was also no
174
del Carmen Fuchs, Justicia; Officer, Diversity and Aboriginal Policing, VPD; Davis, West Coast Cooperative of
Sex Industry Professionals; Allan, Jen’s Kitchen; Irons, MAP Van; Thindal, ORCHID; Gibson, WISH; Shannon,
FIRST; Pacey, Pivot.
175
Arsenault, RCMP; Staff Person, OCTIP; Anonymous, Human Trafficking Researcher.
176
O’Doherty, SIWSAG; Casey, Ph.D., UVic; Taylor, Hustle; Shannon, FIRST.
177
Deans, CIC; Hopkins, CIC BC/Yukon; Staff Person, OCTIP; Minwalla, Immigration and Refugee Lawyer.
61
strong evidence of a significant spike in male demand for paid sexual services during the
Olympic Games. In the absence of evidence-based research, which has systematically assessed
the fan base of or measured male demand for paid sexual services during mega sporting events, it
is unclear whether this was a feature unique to what some interviewees described as a more
“family-oriented” event like the Winter Olympics or mega sporting events more generally.
Available data suggests, however, that during presumably less “family-centred” international
sporting events like the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, the anticipated or forecasted level of
demand did not materialize.
The recommendations that emerged from the interview data as highlighted above are consistent
with those presented in the IOM report and by the European Commission’s Expert Group on
Trafficking in Human Beings in the aftermath of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, two
additional observations emerged from this research. First, the IOM report recommended the
development of a “single” and “professionally organized” NGO public awareness campaign with
a consistent message and the creation of a coordinated media approach in order to ensure that
accurate information about human trafficking was disseminated. As documented in this report, in
the highly polarized “prostitution debates” in British Columbia prior to and during the 2010
Winter Olympics, common ground did appear to exist based on the general principle that
coercion, violence, and exploitation are unacceptable in all sectors, including the sex industry.
Nonetheless, divergent understandings of what constitutes human trafficking for the purpose of
sexual exploitation and differing strategies to combat it produced a critical challenge to the
development of a coordinated and, according to some interview participants, a measured and
balanced public awareness and media campaign. Second, the establishment of partnerships
among government, enforcement, and service provision agencies was also recommended as an
important component of human trafficking prevention strategies prior to and during international
sporting events. Data from interviews conducted further emphasized the importance of fostering
collaborative partnerships and consultations on strategic planning with communities with on-theground knowledge of trafficking in persons and those whose lives and work might be adversely
affected by the enhanced security and enforcement presence and anti-trafficking interventions
during international sporting events. In the context of the 2010 Olympic Games, the beginnings
of such a model was evident; in an effort to achieve a balance between enforcement, protection,
and rights, a collaborative multi-stakeholder community partnership was established, which
involved Vancouver law enforcement, sex worker organizations, and service provision agencies.
Such a localized model could also be extended to include additional groups, such as Indigenous,
youth, and migrant worker organizations/advocates as well as other grassroots, community-based
organizations. Finally, in keeping with previous assessments of anti-trafficking prevention
measures in the context of mega sporting events, a major theme that emerged from this research
was the crucial and ongoing necessity of adopting an evidence-based strategic approach and
practice. Applicable to governmental, enforcement, and non-governmental agencies, this
underlying principle would shape the planning and implementation of anti-trafficking prevention
strategies, public awareness and media campaigns, as well as necessary assistance measures for
trafficked persons should the need materialize.
62
Appendix A: Sample Letter of Introduction/Invitation (Government
Departments/Agencies)
March 8, 2010
Dear ________,
We are writing to invite you to participate in a study entitled “2010 Winter Games Analysis on
Human Trafficking” under contract with the Department of Public Safety Emergency
Preparedness Canada (Project Authority Contact: Barry MacKillop, Director General, Public
Safety Canada, 269 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8).
The research is being conducted by a team of three GAATW Canada researchers: Annalee Lepp
([email protected]; 250-721-6157); Shauna Paull ([email protected]; 604-619-1761); and Sarah
Hunt ([email protected]; 250-888-0641).
Over the last five years, there have been intense discussions and debates globally, nationally, and
provincially about the direct correlation between large international sporting events and an
increase in human trafficking, particularly cross-border and domestic trafficking for the purpose
of sexual exploitation. The purpose of this research is to consider the following:
a) What the multiple effects of the presence of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games
in Vancouver/Whistler are in the following areas: cross international border movements, interand intra-provincial migration, and within region recruitment into such sectors as sex
work/prostitution, construction, manufacturing, and the sales and service sector.
b) Within this broad context of potential heightened demand, in what ways and to what extent are
large international sporting events (in this case, the 2010 Olympic Games) a conducive
environment for human trafficking for the purposes of forced labour practices and sexual
exploitation.
c) Was there an increase in human trafficking in the period leading up to and during the 2010
Olympic and Paralympic Games on the BC Lower Mainland?
In addition, the research will explore what factors need to be taken into account when considering
the absence of an increase or an increase in human trafficking during this international sporting
event.
In order to address these research questions, we are conducting a series of audiotaped telephone,
in-person, and e-mail interviews with various stakeholders, including representatives from federal,
provincial, and municipal agencies, non-governmental organizations in British Columbia, and
labour unions. As a representative of (fill in the blank here), I would like to arrange a telephone
interview with you of no more than one hour or an e-mail interview if you prefer the latter. I
will be forwarding the list of interview questions and a participant consent form to you in
advance; the participant consent form outlines the purposes of the research, addresses issues of
anonymity and confidentiality, and specifies how the research results will be used. I will ask that
you sign the consent form or provide verbal consent on the audiotape prior to the interview.
Your contribution to this study is both welcomed and critical for developing an evidenced-based
analysis of the correlation between large international sporting events (in this case the Vancouver
Olympics) and increased levels of human trafficking. If you have any questions about the
research, feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you regarding your participation.
Sincerely,
Annalee Lepp ([email protected]; 250-721-6157)
GAATW Canada
Appendix B: Sample Letter of Introduction/Invitation (NGO Sectors)
January 28, 2010
Dear ________,
We are writing to invite you to participate in a study entitled “2010 Winter Games Analysis on
Human Trafficking” under contract with the Department of Public Safety Emergency
Preparedness Canada (Project Authority Contact: Barry MacKillop, Director General, Public
Safety Canada, 269 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8).
The research is being conducted by a team of three GAATW Canada researchers: Annalee Lepp
([email protected]; 250-721-6157); Shauna Paull ([email protected]; 604-619-1761); and Sarah
Hunt ([email protected]; 250-888-0641).
Over the last five years, there have been intense discussions and debates globally, nationally,
and provincially about the direct correlation between large international sporting events
and an increase in human trafficking, particularly cross-border and domestic trafficking for
the purpose of sexual exploitation. The purpose of this research is to consider the following:
What the multiple effects of the presence of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games
in Vancouver/Whistler are in the following areas: cross international border movements,
inter- and intra-provincial migration, and within region recruitment into such sectors as sex
work/prostitution, construction, manufacturing, and the sales and service sector. Within this
broad context of potential heightened demand, in what ways and to what extent are large
international sporting events (in this case, the 2010 Olympic Games) a conducive
environment for human trafficking for the purpose of forced labour practices and sexual
exploitation. Was there an increase in human trafficking in the period leading up to and
during the 2010 Olympic Games on the BC Lower Mainland? In addition, the research will
explore what factors need to be taken into account when considering the absence of an
increase or an increase in human trafficking during this international sporting event.
In order to address this research question, we are conducting a series of audiotaped telephone and
in-person interviews with various stakeholders, including representatives from federal, provincial,
and municipal agencies, non-governmental organizations in British Columbia, and labour unions.
As a representative of (fill in the blank here), we would like to arrange a telephone/in-person
interview with you of approximately one hour. We will be forwarding the list of interview
questions and a participant consent form to you in advance; the participant consent form outlines
the purposes of the research, addresses issues of anonymity and confidentiality, and specifies how
the research results will be used. We will ask that you sign the consent form or provide verbal
consent on the audiotape prior to the interview.
Your contribution to this study is both welcomed and critical for developing an evidenced-based
analysis of the correlation between large international sporting events (in this case the Vancouver
Olympics) and increased levels of human trafficking. If you have any questions about the
research, feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you regarding your
participation.
Sincerely,
Annalee Lepp ([email protected]; 250-721-6157)
Shauna Paull ([email protected]; 604-619-1761)
Sarah Hunt ([email protected]; 250-888-0641)
GAATW Canada
Appendix C: Participant Consent Form Template
Participant Consent Form
2010 Winter Games Analysis on Human Trafficking
You are invited to participate in a study entitled “2010 Winter Games Analysis on Human
Trafficking” that is being conducted by GAATW Canada and by the following researchers:
Annalee Lepp ([email protected]; 250-721-6157); Shauna Paull ([email protected]; 604-6191761); and Sarah Hunt ([email protected]; 250-888-0641).
This research is under contract with the Department of Public Safety Emergency Preparedness
Canada. The Project Authority contact is Barry MacKillop, Director General, Public Safety
Canada, 269 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8 should you wish to verify federal
government approval of this research.
Purpose, Objectives, and Importance of this Research
Over the last five years, there have been intense discussions and debates globally, nationally,
and provincially about the direct correlation between large international sporting events
and an increase in human trafficking, particularly cross-border and domestic trafficking for
the purpose of sexual exploitation. The purpose of this research project is to consider the
following: What the multiple effects of the presence of the 2010 Winter Olympic and
Paralympic Games in Vancouver/Whistler are in the following areas: cross international
border movements, inter- and intra-provincial migration, and within region recruitment into
such sectors as sex work/prostitution, construction, manufacturing, and the sales and
service sector. Within this broad context of potential heightened demand, in what ways and
to what extent are large international sporting events (in this case, the 2010 Olympic
Games) a conducive environment for human trafficking for the purpose of forced labour
practices and sexual exploitation. Was there an increase in human trafficking in the period
leading up to and during the 2010 Olympic Games on the BC Lower Mainland? In addition,
the research will explore what factors need to be taken into account when considering the
absence of or an increase in human trafficking during this international sporting event. The
main significance of this research is its aim to take an evidence-based approach to the
aforementioned debates and hopefully broaden our understanding of the contours and
complexities of international sporting events as they relate to people’s mobility (voluntary
or forced) into various labour sites and potentially exploitative circumstances.
Participants Selection
You are being asked to participate in this study because, as a member of (fill in the blank), you
have experience and expertise in the area of human trafficking and/or the organization
of/preparation for the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
What is involved
If you agree to voluntarily participate in this research, your participation will include one or two
audiotaped telephone or in-person interviews of approximately one hour in duration each at a
location, on a date and at a time that is most convenient for you. A research assistant hired by the
research team be transcribing and coding the audiotaped interviews for the purposes of thematic
analysis.
Inconvenience
Participation in this study may cause some inconvenience to you, including the time devoted to
participating in the interview(s).
Risks
There are no known or anticipated risks to you by participating in this research.
Benefits
The potential benefits of your participation in this research include the opportunity to share your
work and expertise on the phenomenon of domestic and cross-border movements and human
trafficking in the Canada and British Columbian context and how these are linked/not linked to
the presence of the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Voluntary Participation
Your participation in this research must be completely voluntary. If you do decide to participate,
you have the right to refuse to answer any questions you do not wish to answer. You may also
withdraw at any time without any consequences or any explanation. If you do withdraw from the
study, your data will only be used only if the researchers obtain written permission to do so.
On-going Consent
To make sure that you continue to consent to participate in this research especially in the case of a
second or follow-up interview, the researchers will review the conditions of participation as
outlined in this consent form and will obtain your ongoing consent verbally on the audiotape prior
to the second interview.
Anonymity
In terms of protecting your anonymity, we have listed 3 options below providing you with the
opportunity to indicate what level of anonymity you prefer in the written results. Please indicate
your preference:
_____ I agree to be identified by name and institutional/organizational affiliation, to be credited in
the written results of the study, and to have my responses attributed to me by name and
institutional/organizational affiliation in the written results.
_____ I prefer the use of a pseudonym and the removal of the name of my institutional/
organizational affiliation in the written results.
_____ I prefer the use of a pseudonym but I agree to the identification of my institutional/
organizational affiliation in the written results.
Confidentiality
Regardless of the level of anonymity you choose above, the confidentiality of the data will be
protected using the following procedures. Upon the completion of the interview, a research
assistant will transcribe the interview data and code it; the data will be stored in password
protected computer files. Printed transcripts will also be coded and will be stored in a secure
location at the researchers’ home residences or offices. Only the three principal researchers and
the research assistant will have access to the original data.
Dissemination of Results
It is anticipated that the results of this study will be shared with others in the following ways: the
researchers are contracted to submit a research report to Department of Public Safety Emergency
Preparedness Canada in April 2010, which we anticipate will be circulated among federal
government departments and perhaps posted on the Department of Public Safety website. In
addition, the researchers, with the approval of the Department of Public Safety, may in future
present the results of this study at public, NGO, or academic forums or use the results to publish
articles in NGO or academic publications.
Disposal of Data
Data from this study will continue to be stored in password-protected files and in secure locations
until the completion of the final report in June 2010. It is anticipated that the original data will be
destroyed in five years – audiotapes will be erased; password protected computer files will be
deleted; and printed transcripts will be shredded. In that five-year period, the original data will
continue to be securely stored as indicated above.
Contacts
Individuals that may be contacted regarding this study include the Project Authority at the
Department of Public Safety at the address listed above, as well as the main researchers at the email addresses or telephone numbers identified above.
Your signature below or your verbal consent on the audiotape indicates that you understand the
above conditions of participation in this study and that you have had the opportunity to have your
questions answered by the researchers.
Name of Participant
Signature
Date
A copy of this consent will be left with you, and a copy will be taken by the researcher.
Appendix D: Interview Questionnaire (Government Departments/Agencies)
2010 Winter Olympics Analysis on Human Trafficking
Interview Questions
Government Departments/Agencies
Preamble
The term human trafficking is widely used and the processes being described have tended to
encompass a wide range of phenomena. For the purposes of this research, we rely on the UN
Trafficking Protocol definition (internationally agreed upon in 2000); the provisions contained in
the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (came into effect in 2002) that pertain to
transnational trafficking, as well as the Canadian Criminal Code definition (introduced in 2005).
There are further provisions in various sections of the Criminal Code that cover trafficking-related
offences.
a) UN Trafficking Protocol Definition (2000)
“’Trafficking in persons’ shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt
of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of
fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or
receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another
person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation
of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services,
slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or removal of organs.”
The definition refers to three distinct elements:
i) a set of actions which involve recruiting or moving someone;
ii) the means by which those actions are carried out (“the threat or use of force …”);
iii) and a purpose (forms of exploitation for which people are recruited or moved); it should be
noted that there is no international definition of “sexual exploitation” so countries can define and
address this as they deem appropriate.
In the case of people aged 18 years and over, all three elements must be involved for a case to be
considered trafficking. However, in the case of youth and children under 18 years of age, the
coercive means mentioned in the definition (ii. above) do not need to be involved; it is sufficient
for an adolescent under 18 to be recruited (i.e. without being subjected to threats, deception, etc.)
in order to be exploited, for the case to be regarded as trafficking.
b) Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (2002, Section 118)
The provisions pertaining to human trafficking in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
pertain specifically to transnational trafficking in persons. The offences cover the following:
i) Section 118: “knowingly organize the coming into Canada of one or more persons by means of
abduction, fraud, deception or use or threat of force or coercion.” “Organize with respect to
persons” refers to “recruitment or transportation and, after their entry into Canada, the receipt or
harbouring of those persons.”
ii) Section 121: Aggravating factors in determining the appropriate penalty include (a) bodily
harm or death; (b) the involvement (benefit or direction) of a criminal organization; (c) the
commission of the offence for profit; and (d) “a person was subjected to humiliating or degrading
treatment, including with respect to work or health conditions or sexual exploitation.”
c) Canadian Criminal Code (2005, Sections 279.01 – 03)
The Canadian Criminal Code definition covers both cross-border and domestic trafficking and in
general addresses the following elements (unlike the provisions under IRPA, exploitation rather
than movement is the essential element of the Criminal Code offence).
i) Section 279.01: “recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing or
harbouring a person, or exercising control or influence over the movements of a person, for the
purpose of exploiting or facilitating the exploitation of that person.”
ii) Section 279.02: “receiving a financial or other material benefit for the purpose of committing
or facilitating the exploitation of that person.”
iii) Section 279.03: “withholding or destruction of documents, such as a victim’s travel
documents or documents establishing their identity, for the purpose of committing or facilitating
the exploitation of that person.”
iv) Section 279.04: “defines exploitation as causing a person to provide, or offer to provide, labour
or services by engaging in conduct that leads the victim to reasonably fear for their safety or that
of someone known to them, if they fail to comply. It would apply to the use of force, deception or
other forms of coercion causing the removal of a human organ or tissue.”
Questions
When responding to the following questions, please provide concrete examples to support
your claims.
Organizational/Agency/Department Work
1. Please describe your work and the work of the government agency you work for? (Please note
that if you opted for anonymity on the consent form, identifying markers will be removed and this
is for our information or coding purposes only.)
2. Does your government agency work directly with trafficked persons or persons who migrate
across international borders, from other provinces, or within provinces (rural/urban)? If so, in
what capacity? How would you describe your clientele? What is the nature of your work or what
supports do you provide?
3. Do you keep statistics on the number of suspected or verified trafficking cases that your
government department has dealt with?
a) If so, would you be willing to share national and BC-specific statistics on an annualized basis
and by labour site that pertain to:
i) those suspected to be or verified as international cross-border trafficked persons;
ii) those suspected to be or verified as persons trafficked domestically?
If so, please provide, relevant data.
b) Would you be willing to share statistics during the month after the conclusion of the Olympics
games?
4. Given the presence of a national discourse that identified four Ps: prevention, prosecution,
protection, and promotion of partnerships, what is your impression of the anti-trafficking
conversation in Canada, in British Columbia, and in Vancouver in general and particularly as it
relates to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics (media reports, various panels and debates, etc.)? Based
on your work, does it reflect the realities on the ground?
What are the links?
5. Based on the work that you do, how would you characterize the links (cause and effects)
between large sporting events like the 2010 Winter Olympics and one or more of the following
areas:
i) human trafficking;
ii) migration (across borders, inter-provincially, within the province);
iii) labour exploitation? Please specify which sectors you are referring to.
What factors need to be taken into account in identifying and addressing these links (for example,
causes and effects)?
Movement
6. Within the context of the lead up to and during the 2010 Olympic Games, do you have a sense
of whether people are moving across borders, from other provinces, or within the province to the
Vancouver area?
If so, can you describe these populations/individuals? What evidence do you have that these
movements are occurring? (for example, the nature of the cases that your department has dealt
with; a changing client base of your government department, etc.)
7. a) If you have witnessed greater mobility and based on your experience, what motivated these
people/individuals to move? (For example, rural-urban, urban-rural, various employment
opportunities, increased demand in a specific labour sector, etc.)
b) Is this movement facilitated in some way by a third-party? If so, please describe the forms that
this third party facilitation has taken?
8. In considering the pre-Olympic Game and post-Game contexts, did you witness a quantitative
shift in the number of trafficked persons or mobile persons (youth, women, men, etc.) you
identified or worked with? If so, please explain.
Initiatives
9. Have you seen any change in the levels of awareness or information sharing about
sexual/labour exploitation or trafficking in people working in your department in recent years? To
what do you attribute this shift? What do you consider the effect of this shift as it pertains to the
four Ps: prevention, prosecution, protection, and promotion of partnerships?
10. What initiatives, activities, or measures has your department undertaken in preparation for the
2010 Olympics especially as it pertains to human trafficking and/or issues related to labour
exploitation? These might include, among others,
a) Public awareness campaigns
b) Specific training or information sessions in your department
c) Specific policies, regulations, or practices related to particular labour sectors (sex work,
construction, manufacturing, sales and service, etc.)
c) Specific law enforcement strategies
d) Specific border security strategies
e) Other
Please provide as much detail as possible.
11. Did your department partner with other departments, organizations, agencies, Olympic
organizers, faith-based organizations, etc. in devising these initiatives, activities, measures,
strategies, or training? Was there funding attached to these initiatives?
12. What did you hope to or have you achieved by undertaking these initiatives, activities,
measures, strategies, or training?
Measuring Effectiveness
13. How do you plan to measure or how have you measured the effectiveness of these strategies in
addressing human trafficking or labour exploitation during the lead up to and during the Olympic
Games? Given these criteria, were your strategies effective?
14. Were there ways in which these initiatives, measures, activities, strategies, training might have
had unintended consequences particularly for marginalized or mobile groups in or coming to the
Vancouver area (for example, enhanced policing, surveillance, profiling of certain groups)?
Overall Accounting
15. In your expert opinion and based on your work, was there an increase in the level of human
trafficking, movement of persons, and/or labour exploitation in the lead up and during the
Olympics? In which of these sectors in particular? How do you account for a shift or lack of shift?
16. What recommendations or advice would you give to organizers of future major sporting
events especially as they pertain to human trafficking, mobile populations, and labour
exploitation?
17. Is there anyone else in your department (at the BC level) that we should interview who has
expertise in human trafficking, labour/sexual exploitation as they relate to the 2010 Olympics?
Appendix E: Interview Questionnaire (NGO Sectors)
2010 Winter Olympics Analysis on Human Trafficking
Interview Questions
Preamble
The term human trafficking is widely used and the processes being described have tended to
encompass a wide range of phenomena. For the purposes of this research, we rely on the UN
Trafficking Protocol definition (internationally agreed upon in 2000); the provisions contained in
the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (came into effect in 2002) that pertain to
transnational trafficking, as well as the Canadian Criminal Code definition (introduced in 2005).
There are further provisions in various sections of the Criminal Code that cover trafficking-related
offences.
a) UN Trafficking Protocol Definition (2000)
“’Trafficking in persons’ shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt
of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of
fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or
receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another
person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation
of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services,
slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or removal of organs.”
The definition refers to three distinct elements:
i) a set of actions which involve recruiting or moving someone;
ii) the means by which those actions are carried out (“the threat or use of force …”);
iii) and a purpose (forms of exploitation for which people are recruited or moved); it should be
noted that there is no international definition of “sexual exploitation” so countries can define and
address this as they deem appropriate.
In the case of people aged 18 years and over, all three elements must be involved for a case to be
considered trafficking. However, in the case of youth and children under 18 years of age, the
coercive means mentioned in the definition (ii. above) do not need to be involved; it is sufficient
for an adolescent under 18 to be recruited (i.e. without being subjected to threats, deception, etc.)
in order to be exploited, for the case to be regarded as trafficking.
b) Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (2002, Section 118)
The provisions pertaining to human trafficking in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
pertain specifically to transnational trafficking in persons. The offences cover the following:
i) Section 118: “knowingly organize the coming into Canada of one or more persons by means of
abduction, fraud, deception or use or threat of force or coercion.” “Organize with respect to
persons” refers to “recruitment or transportation and, after their entry into Canada, the receipt or
harbouring of those persons.”
ii) Section 121: Aggravating factors in determining the appropriate penalty include (a) bodily
harm or death; (b) the involvement (benefit or direction) of a criminal organization; (c) the
commission of the offence for profit; and (d) “a person was subjected to humiliating or degrading
treatment, including with respect to work or health conditions or sexual exploitation.”
c) Canadian Criminal Code (2005, Sections 279.01 – 03)
The Canadian Criminal Code definition covers both cross-border and domestic trafficking and in
general addresses the following elements (unlike the provisions under IRPA, exploitation rather
than movement is the essential element of the Criminal Code offence).
i) Section 279.01: “recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing or
harbouring a person, or exercising control or influence over the movements of a person, for the
purpose of exploiting or facilitating the exploitation of that person.”
ii) Section 279.02: “receiving a financial or other material benefit for the purpose of committing
or facilitating the exploitation of that person.”
iii) Section 279.03: “withholding or destruction of documents, such as a victim’s travel
documents or documents establishing their identity, for the purpose of committing or facilitating
the exploitation of that person.”
iv) Section 279.04: “defines exploitation as causing a person to provide, or offer to provide, labour
or services by engaging in conduct that leads the victim to reasonably fear for their safety or that
of someone known to them, if they fail to comply. It would apply to the use of force, deception or
other forms of coercion causing the removal of a human organ or tissue.”
Questions
When responding to the following questions, please provide concrete examples to support your
claims.
Organizational/Agency Work
1. Please describe your work and the work of the organization/agency you work for? (Please note
that if you opted for anonymity on the consent form, identifying markers will be removed and this
is for our information purposes only.)
2. Does your organization/agency work directly with trafficked persons or persons who migrate
across borders, from other provinces, or within the province (rural/urban)? If so, in what capacity?
How would you describe your clientele? What types of supports do you provide?
3. What is your impression of the anti-trafficking conversation in Canada, in British Columbia, in
Vancouver in general and particularly as it relates to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics?
What are the links?
4. Based on the work that you do, how would you characterize the links between large sporting
events like the 2010 Winter Olympics and one or more of the following factors:
i) human trafficking;
ii) migration (across borders, inter-provincially, within the province);
iii) labour exploitation? Please specify which sectors you are referring to.
What factors need to be taken into account in identifying and addressing these links (for example,
in terms of causes and effects)?
Movement
5. Within the context of the lead up to and during the 2010 Olympic Games, do you have a sense
of whether people are moving across borders, from other provinces, or within the province to the
Vancouver area? [This can be tailored to the specific group being interviewed; e.g. Aboriginal
community]
If so, can you describe these populations/individuals? What evidence do you have that these
movements are occurring? (for example, a changing client base in your organization/agency, etc.)
6. If you have witnessed greater mobility and based on your experience, what motivated these
people/individuals to move? (For example, rural-urban, urban-rural, various employment
opportunities, increased demand in a specific labour sector, etc.)
Is this movement facilitated in some way by a third-party? If so, please describe the forms that this
third party facilitation has taken?
7. During the lead-up to the Olympics and during the Olympics themselves, have you seen an
increased risk of violence, exploitation, or trafficking of members of your community? If so,
please explain.
8. Are there particular risk factors for: Women? Youth? Elders?
9. In considering the pre-Olympic Game and post-Game contexts, did you witness a quantitative
shift in the number of trafficked persons or mobile persons (youth, women, men, etc.) you
identified or worked with? If so, please explain.
Initiatives
10. Have you seen any change in the levels of awareness or information sharing about
sexual/labour exploitation or trafficking in your community in recent years? To what do you
attribute this shift?
11. What initiatives, activities, or measures has your organization/agency undertaken in
preparation for the 2010 Olympics especially as it pertains to human trafficking and/or issues
related to labour exploitation? These might include, among others,
a) Public awareness campaigns
b) Specific training or information sessions in your organization/agency
c) Specific policies, regulations, or practices related to particular labour sectors (sex work,
construction, manufacturing, sales and service, etc.)
c) Specific law enforcement strategies
d) Specific border security strategies
e) Other
Please provide as much detail as possible.
12. Did you partner with government/Olympic organizers (federal, provincial, municipal, city,
VANOC, etc.)/or faith-based organizations in devising these initiatives, activities, measures, or
strategies? Was there funding attached to these initiatives?
13. What did you hope to or have you achieved by undertaking these initiatives, activities,
measures, and strategies?
Measuring Effectiveness
14. How do you plan to measure or how have you measured the effectiveness of these strategies in
addressing human trafficking or labour exploitation during the lead up to and during the Olympic
Games? Given these criteria, were your strategies effective?
15. Were there ways in which these initiatives, measures, activities, and strategies might have had
unintended consequences particularly for marginalized groups in the Vancouver area (for
example, enhanced policing, surveillance, profiling of certain groups)?
Overall Accounting
16. In your expert opinion and based on your work, was there an increase in the level of human
trafficking, movement of persons, and/or labour exploitation in the lead up and during the
Olympics? In which of these sectors in particular? How do you account for a shift or lack of shift?
17. What recommendations or advice would you give to organizers of future major sporting
events especially as they pertain to human trafficking, mobile populations, and labour
exploitation?
18. Is there anyone else in your community or organization that you think we should ask about
these issues of human trafficking, labour/sexual exploitation, and the Olympics?
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