AB government: Stepping up the fight against human trafficking
Oct 02, 2022
Alberta’s government is committing $20.8 million in new funds over the next four years to step up the fight against human trafficking.
The provincial government is implementing the Alberta Human Trafficking Task Force’s five recommendations to better protect and assist vulnerable Albertans and stop their exploitation at the hands of traffickers.
Specifically, the funding will:
- Establish and implement an Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons and a centre of excellence for research and data collection.
- Support a new grant for coordinated community support and Indigenous-led and culturally appropriate services.
- Fund civilian positions through the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams whose roles would be focused on supporting victims and survivors throughout the investigation process.
- Collaboratively implement other related task force recommendations.
Human trafficking is more prevalent than what statistics show due to the hidden nature of the crime, high levels of fear amongst victims and survivors, and challenges with data collection and information sharing. This is why the government is investing in these actions to work with partners to build awareness and enhance data collection.
“One of our very first platform commitments was to implement a nine-point Alberta Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking. Today’s announcement of over $20 million in additional funding continues that life-saving work. Ensuring that we put real resources into implementing the recommendations of our Human Trafficking Task Force, chaired by Paul Brandt. Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery. Today’s step reinforces Alberta’s determination to stamp out this terrible exploitation.”
Jason Kenney, Premier
“This funding is critical to combat human trafficking in the province. It will allow survivors and victims of human trafficking to receive the specialized services they need and reduce the risk of re-exploitation.”
Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General
“Stewarding the learning in the task force report was a profound and sacred privilege. I am pleased to see next steps come to fruition and thankful that the government is providing funding to start implementing this critical work and make a difference in the lives of so many vulnerable people.”
Paul Brandt, chair, Human Trafficking Task Force
“ALERT is committed to targeting perpetrators of human trafficking, but more importantly, equipping survivors and loved ones with the long-term engagement resources needed to escape. This funding will solidify unconstrained access to sustainable supports and create the safe environment needed to break the trauma bond.”
Supt. Marc Cochlin, chief executive officer, Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams
Human trafficking is a serious and complex crime that exploits people of all ages and genders, stripping individuals of their rights, freedoms and humanity. Coercion by traffickers often involves violence and threats against victims and their families.
- Alberta’s government made a platform commitment to implement a nine-point Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, including a commitment to appoint a Human Trafficking Task Force.
- All nine points of the Action Plan have either been implemented, or implementation is ongoing.
- In March, government released the final report of the Human Trafficking Task Force and its five recommendations.
- Police services in Canada reported 2,977 incidents of human trafficking between 2010 and 2020.
- In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are overrepresented as victims of human trafficking.