World Day against Trafficking in Persons: Joint statement

Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Community and Social Services Rajan Sawhney and Minister of Children’s Services Rebecca Schulz issued the following joint statement on World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

“We are committed to making sure vulnerable Albertans have the protection and support they need and deserve. Human trafficking is a dehumanizing and predatory crime that violates a person’s most basic human rights and dignity – and survivors of this crime are often the most vulnerable members of our communities. Traffickers exploit their victims, rob them of their freedom and coerce them into providing labour or sexual services, all for their own gain. We simply cannot allow this injustice to continue. Our government is taking action to combat human trafficking and build a province where people are safe and can perform the work of their choice free from coercion. Our nine-point Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking will protect at-risk individuals from being trafficked in Alberta, empower survivors of trafficking and provide new remedies to deal with traffickers. We’ve already put in place several tough new measures to better protect survivors and strengthen their ability to get away from physically, emotionally and financially damaging abuse. Through the Human Trafficking Task Force, we’re bringing together leading advocates and experts in addressing various forms of human trafficking to provide advice on how we can protect some of Alberta’s most vulnerable. We will not allow human trafficking to establish a foothold in our province, and we are committed to doing what it takes to eradicate human trafficking.” Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

“World Day against Trafficking in Persons unites us with people across the globe in our efforts to end human trafficking. I am proud to work alongside Minister Schweitzer, the Human Trafficking Task Force, and our many partners in government and community to say: enough is enough. The majority of human trafficking survivors are young women who have had their freedom, security and control over their future stolen from them. Our government’s actions to protect at-risk individuals, empower survivors and penalize traffickers are important pieces of our commitment to ending violence against women and girls. We cannot stand by and allow this horrific crime to continue happening in our beautiful province. All Albertans must work together to shine a light on this darkness in this province, protect those at risk in our communities and bring an end to human trafficking.” Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women

“We must work together to make a difference in preventing human trafficking and supporting survivors. Our government is committed to empowering at-risk individuals and preventing exploitation, and we recently passed Alberta’s version of Clare’s Law to give those at risk of sexual and domestic violence an opportunity to gain information about an intimate partner’s violent past. We will continue to work with community partners, such as sexual assault centres, to provide counselling, support and advocacy to survivors.” Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Community and Social Services

“On World Day against Trafficking in Persons, it’s important for us to speak out loud and clear against those who would exploit and abuse others for their own personal gain and to support victims as we work toward eradicating human trafficking in all its forms. As Minister of Children’s Services, it is especially heartbreaking to know that a significant number of the victims of human trafficking are below the age of 18 and the vast majority are women and girls. In addition to being a horrific crime, it’s an affront to our values of freedom, safety and dignity of every person. The Alberta government’s actions have made progress in combatting human trafficking but there is more work to do, and this requires support from all of us – to raise awareness, to take action against offenders and to support victims.” Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services

Provincial Press Release July 30, 2020 9:17 am