Winnipeg among 4 cities eyed for RCMP human trafficking teams
The Conservatives are promising a crackdown on "modern-day slavery" by establishing Royal Canadian Mounted Police human trafficking teams in Winnipeg, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary.
Stephen Harper announced Sunday that a re-elected Conservative government would take a number of steps to support victims of human trafficking and target criminals engaged in it.
The promises include:
- Investing $8 million annually for five years to establish integrated Royal Canadian Mounted Police human trafficking teams in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg. The teams would facilitate co-ordination between national and local law-enforcement officials.
- Doubling current funding to help human trafficking victims reintegrate into society.
- Establishing Feb. 22 as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, to coincide with the anniversary of the unanimous decision of Parliament to condemn all forms of human trafficking and slavery on February 22, 2007.
- Investing $20 million to renew the Human Trafficking Action Plan for an additional five years.
"Human trafficking is not always visible to Canadians but it is all too present in our communities across the country," Harper said, noting that human traffickers are members of organized criminal gangs who force their victims to participate in prostitution and other forms of modern-day slavery.
"We need to do even more to keep young women out of the hands of predatory criminal gangs and make our streets and communities safer."