- Human Trafficking in B.C.
March 15, 2013
On Friday March 15th, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond announced BC’s Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons 2013-2016.
Human trafficking is a global problem and Canada is not immune. Canada has been identified as both a transit and a destination point for human trafficking, and Vancouver has been singled out by the U.S. State Department as a port of major concern. Canada is also a source of trafficked persons and has experienced cases of domestic trafficking within its borders.
Due to the hidden nature of the crime, most human trafficking activities are undetected or unreported. Human trafficking is a serious violation of human rights. In British Columbia, human trafficking is recognized as a problem that cannot be ignored.
In 2007 British Columbia established the Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP). OCTIP is responsible for the development and overall coordination of British Columbia’s strategy to address human trafficking. OCTIP takes a human rights centered approach. This means that the rights and needs of trafficked persons are placed at the centre of all OCTIP work. In collaboration with other provincial ministries, federal departments, municipal governments, law enforcement agencies, and community organizations, OCTIP aims to prevent human trafficking and coordinate services for trafficked persons in British Columbia.
OCTIP works in partnerships to protect trafficked persons and prevent human trafficking. The Office also provides support to law enforcement and Crown Counsel to assist with the prosecution of human trafficking cases.