55005 3/2/2006 12:23 06OTTAWA539 Embassy Ottawa UNCLASSIFIED VZCZCXRO5685 PP RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC DE RUEHOT #0539/01 0611223 ZNR UUUUU ZZH P 021223Z MAR 06 ZFR ZFR FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1568 INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA PRIORITY 0026 RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA PRIORITY 0021 RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK PRIORITY 1714 RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 2093 RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0374 RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0486 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 1163 RUEHCO/AMEMBASSY COTONOU PRIORITY 0012 RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA PRIORITY 0056 RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI PRIORITY 0277 RUEHKV/AMEMBASSY KIEV PRIORITY 0264 RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR PRIORITY 0305 RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT PRIORITY 0317 RUEHPC/AMEMBASSY LOME PRIORITY 0061 RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA PRIORITY 0003 RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO PRIORITY 1489 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 2054 RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0294 RUEHNM/AMEMBASSY NIAMEY PRIORITY 0115 RUEHOU/AMEMBASSY OUAGADOUGOU PRIORITY 0089 RUEHPF/AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH PRIORITY 0059 RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON PRIORITY 0404 RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 1423 RUEHTG/AMEMBASSY TEGUCIGALPA PRIORITY 0075 RUEHTI/AMEMBASSY TIRANA PRIORITY 0048 RUEHVN/AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE PRIORITY 0380 RUEAHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHDC PRIORITY RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASH DC PRIORITY UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 14 OTTAWA 000539
DEPT FOR WHA/PPC J. BENSON, G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, IWI, USAID
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PHUM, PREF, KCRM, KWMN, KFRD, SMIG, ASEC, ELAB, CA SUBJECT: 2006 TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT: CANADA
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for their newly renamed Human Trafficking National Coordination Center (HTNCC) that coordinates domestic trafficking efforts with six RCMP immigration and passport regional offices. Recent and continuing long-term cross-border operations by U.S. and Canadian law enforcement that require extensive investigations, many making use of intelligence sharing techniques, have produced arrests of individuals on smuggling charges. 2005 saw the first arrests under two separate laws relating to sex tourism and cross-border trafficking. Localized efforts, particularly in British Columbia where the problem is publicly acknowledged in the most high profile way in the country, are noteworthy, although in their nascent stages.
Law Enforcement Data
5. (U) There have been no new comprehensive quantitative assessments about the smuggling or trafficking problem in Canada since the 2004 RCMP report that estimated between 600 and 800 people are smuggled into the country annually. The Government of Canada suggests that small, but unquantifiable, numbers of trafficking victims or potential trafficking victims, enter the country illegally or legally and that, due to the small number of confirmed cases and in order to protect the integrity of ongoing investigations, no specific information on individual trafficking cases could be provided for this report. The extent of domestic trafficking in Canada is difficult to determine, given that citizenship, ethnic background or place of habitual residence of the victim is often not made available. Conversations with members of the NGO community failed to produce specific data corroborating claims of increased numbers of trafficking victims. However, both U.S. and Canadian immigration and law enforcement officials acknowledge that law enforcement cooperation on smuggling as well as on individual trafficking cases has been positive and fruitful.
6. (U) In 2005, DHS and Canadian law enforcement (RCMP, CBSA and CSIS) cooperation, both through the use of Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) as well as localized relationships particularly in the Vancouver and Qlocalized relationships particularly in the Vancouver and Toronto areas, has resulted in the arrests of at least 17 individuals on human smuggling charges. Due to slow administrative procedures, combined with charges also being filed in the U.S., some Canadian offenders are extradited to the U.S. for trial, sentencing and incarceration. DHS officials in Canada estimate that they have worked cooperatively with Canadian law enforcement on at least five trafficking cases and investigations are ongoing.
7. (U) From March 1, 2005 to January 31, 2006, U.S. border officials, including joint U.S./Canadian IBETs, have provided unofficial statistics that have identified 1,088 individuals claiming to have been smuggled into the U.S. Of those, 221 have been verified as legitimate smuggling cases. These figures are based on individuals having been apprehended in
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the U.S., many within a few miles of the U.S./Canadian border. 47 different source countries comprise the claims, with Mexico, Guatemala, China, South Korea, Brazil and Honduras (in descending order) being the countries with the greatest numbers. Of those individuals whose claims to have been smuggled were verified, 28 different source countries were evident. They were South Korea, India, Mexico, Canada and China (in descending order). Of those with verified claims, the average cost paid for the smuggling ranged between $50 and $8,000.
8. (U) There are currently seventeen ongoing investigations under related offenses of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), including the Section 118 that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons. During the reporting period, there were six TIP-related convictions under various Criminal Code offenses. The sentences imposed varied based on the particular offense. Nine other TIP-related cases with charges under the Criminal Code remain pending. For the reporting period, there were seven cases of individuals prosecuted for offenses related to migrant smuggling, for which five convictions were obtained. One case remains pending and the other prosecution resulted in an acquittal.
9. (U) Statistics-Canada is expected to release police-reported smuggling data for calendar year 2005 and an annual Criminal Court Survey for fiscal year 2005/2006 (April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006) during the summer. However court-reported data on prosecutions of migrant smuggling cases for the two year period from 2002 to 2004 (under Section 117 of IRPA) indicate an increase from four to fourteen prosecutions, as well as a corresponding increase in convictions from two to ten.
10. (U) According to the 2005 Criminal Intelligence Service Canada's (CISC) Annual Report on Organized Crime, Canada is a destination and transit country for trafficking victims who are brought to Canada for the purpose of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Asian and Eastern European crime groups have been involved in trafficking victims from Eastern Europe Qhave been involved in trafficking victims from Eastern Europe (including Albania and Russia), Africa and Asia (including Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, China and South Korea). In addition, domestic crime rings, using tactics of deception and coercion similar to those practiced by international human traffickers, target and traffick women from the Atlantic provinces to large urban centers in other parts of Canada.
Raising Trafficking Awareness
11. (U) Federal Level Training and Outreach: The RCMP,
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Canada's national policing agency, has implemented training programs to help immigration and customs officers recognize trafficking victims. For example, new cadets at the national training academy regularly receive training to recognize trafficking victims and implement strategies in combating the problem. The booklet "Human Trafficking: Reference Guide for Canadian Law Enforcement" published in May 2005 by the University College of the Fraser Valley (British Columbia) Press is used as a training handbook and has been distributed to federal, provincial and municipal law enforcement officials. Twice a year, the RCMP conducts week-long training seminars with a one-day focus on human trafficking for RCMP members and agencies outside the RCMP including, for example, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and international police forces. This training includes discussion of relevant sections of IRPA and the Criminal Code, and now will include the new offenses contained in Bill C-49 (see paragraphs 16 and 17) In May 2005, the RCMP organized a training seminar for police, prosecutors, other law enforcement officials and members of civil society. RCMP officials participated in training and awareness sessions on TIP in Australia and in the U.S., the latter in partnership with DHS. The RCMP is currently developing a power point presentation and video for use in training trainers for law enforcement officers and NGOs. This initiative is expected to be finalized in spring 2006. A Department of Justice training session for the RCMP on Bill C-49 is scheduled for March 2006.
12. (U) In April, to mark Refugee Rights Day, the Canadian Red Cross and the Canadian Council for Refugees hosted a public forum in Vancouver on human trafficking.
13. (U) In May, the RCMP, the Canadian Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC) and the British Columbia Justice Institute held the Pacific Northwest Conference on International Human Trafficking in Vancouver. The conference focused on the arrest and prosecution of QThe conference focused on the arrest and prosecution of traffickers.
14. (U) In November, the Canadian Red Cross and the Canadian Council for Refugees, with a financial contribution from the IWG, co-organized a conference in Vancouver entitled, "Look Beneath the Surface: Community Responses to Human Trafficking." The conference, attended by 200 participants from civil society, federal/provincial/municipal levels of government and faith-based organizations, focused on raising awareness, encouraging local activism and providing services to trafficking victims.
INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS
Canadian Anti-Trafficking Legislation
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15. (U) Canada's criminal laws prohibit trafficking for all purposes regardless of whether the trafficking occurred wholly within Canada or whether it involved bringing individuals into Canada for the purpose of exploitation.
16. (U) Bill C-49, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Trafficking in Persons), became law on November 25, 2005. The legislation empowers local police, who are not authorized to lay charges under the 2002 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) that RCMP enforces, to use the Criminal Code to arrest individuals for trafficking offenses. The legislation specifically criminalizes trafficking in persons, prohibits persons from benefiting economically from trafficking in persons and prohibits the withholding or destroying of identity, immigration or travel documents to facilitate the trafficking of persons.
17. (U) Penalties for C-49, depending on the specific charge, include imprisonment for up to 14 years, but can be increased to life for aggravating circumstances. This legislation, which does not require any cross-border movement, supplements IRPA and related offenses in the Criminal Code (fraudulent documentation, prostitution-related offenses, physical harm, abduction and confinement, intimidation, conspiracy, and organized crime) that have been and can be used to combat trafficking. Trafficking offenses under IRPA's Section 118 carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $870,000 (Cdn $1 million).
18. (U) Bill C-2, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Protection of children and other vulnerable persons) and the Canada Evidence Act, became law on July 20, 2005. The legislation strengthens provisions in the Code intended to protect children and other vulnerable persons from sexual exploitation, violence, abuse and neglect. It facilitates the participation of child victims/witnesses and vulnerable persons by providing testimonial aids, such as screens and closed-circuit television, and by eliminating the need for a competency hearing prior to the admission of testimony from a child under 14. The new maximum penalty for the offense of Qchild under 14. The new maximum penalty for the offense of sexual exploitation of a minor between the ages of 14 and 18 has been increased from five to ten years and a minimum sentence of 45 days has been imposed.
Establishment of an RCMP Trafficking Center
19. (U) In 2005, the RCMP established the Human Trafficking National Coordination Center (HTNCC) within the Immigration and Passport Branch. It is currently staffed with two RCMP officers and one analyst; three additional officers are expected in the upcoming months. The Center's mandate includes domestic and international coordination of intelligence gathering and sharing, monitoring investigations, analytical services and data collection. The HTNCC is tasked with developing a national enforcement strategy to combat trafficking.
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20. (U) There are also six regional RCMP Human Trafficking Awareness Coordinators whose responsibilities include investigation and intelligence gathering on TIP cases, coordination with provincial and municipal law enforcement and NGO service providers, as well as training outreach to CIC, CBSA and municipal police forces to raise their awareness about individuals who are potential trafficking victims.
Various Relevant Penalties
21. (U) Maximum penalties for sexual assault offenses range from ten years to life imprisonment, dependent upon aggravating circumstances and use of a firearm. Bill C-2 increases the maximum penalties on summary conviction for child specific offenses from six to eighteen months and doubles the maximum penalty on indictment for sexual exploitation of a young person from five to ten years.
22. (U) The Criminal Code of Canada does not specifically prohibit adult prostitution but rather prohibits related activities such as solicitation, procuring, living on the avails and operating a bawdy house. Prostitution of persons under 18 years of age is prohibited. There are conflicting reports that local Vancouver police regularly raid strip clubs or massage parlors but that, in Toronto, this occurs only when the community at large complains about them. In Toronto, for instance, strippers, strip clubs and massage parlors (but not masseuses) are licensed by the city and, while owners of strip clubs and massage parlors are closed down for code violations, they are often allowed to obtain new licenses for new facilities. Ontario courts reportedly send approximately 30 men per month to the Toronto "john school" in an effort at demand reduction. In November 2004, a parliamentary sub-committee began a review of Canada's solicitation laws in order to improve the safety of sex-trade workers and to recommend changes that would limit the exploitation of and violence against them. While the hearings have been completed, the final report was not issued prior to the dissolution of Parliament in November 2005. Q Trafficking Investigations
23. (U) On April 14, 2005, Canadian law enforcement brought the first case under IRPA against a Chinese owner of a massage parlor who was charged with two counts of human trafficking for bringing women into the country under false pretenses and coercing them into prostitution. His victims have voluntarily returned to China, their country of origin, and are expected to return for the ten-week trial, expected to begin in a Vancouver court on March 28. However, a constitutional challenge has been brought and, at this time, it is unclear whether the trial will proceed as planned. The
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Canadian legal system has no provisions for either administrative or grand jury subpoenas, requiring any inter-agency cooperation in the form of court orders approved by judges. The result is that the gathering of evidence is slower and more cumbersome and it takes longer before cases are brought to trial.
24. (U) In 1997, Canada's criminal laws were amended to permit Canadian prosecution of Canadian citizens or permanent residents who engage in prohibited sexual activity with children while abroad. One individual was charged and convicted in June 2005 of child sex tourism offenses under Section 7, Sub-section 4.1 of the Criminal Code, for crimes committed with children under age 14 in Cambodia. The individual was the subject of an investigation for torturing prostitutes in Vancouver. In the course of the investigation, the individual's personal computer was confiscated and found to contain a record of his illicit international activities. He was charged with 22 counts of assault on adult prostitutes and 16 counts of child sex tourism for actions that occurred outside of Canada. The individual pled guilty and is currently serving a ten year sentence.
25. (U) On February 24, the provincial Royal Newfoundland Constabulary announced the arrests of two individuals, a Canadian and a Kuwaiti-born Canadian citizen, on 30 charges stemming from an investigation into a child pornography ring in Newfoundland. The two individuals, whose alleged victims include seven girls between the ages of 13 and 16, are charged under the Criminal Code with committing a variety of offenses between Sept. 1, 2005 and January 24, 2006, prior to the passage of either of the new pieces of legislation discussed above.
Federal versus Provincial Prosecutions
26. (U) The prosecution of offenses in Canada is shared between the Provincial Attorneys General and the Federal Attorney General. Generally, charges under federal legislation other than the Criminal Code, such as those laid under IRPA, are prosecuted by federal prosecutors. Criminal Code offenses are prosecuted by provincial prosecutors. QCode offenses are prosecuted by provincial prosecutors. Provincial Attorneys General may provide the Federal Attorney General authority to prosecute Criminal Code cases and the Federal Attorney General may provide Provincial Attorneys General authority to prosecute IRPA cases, as appropriate; for example, where one set of facts gives rise to numerous charges under both IRPA and the Criminal Code, authority may be delegated to one Attorney General to prosecute all offenses.
Exotic Dancer Visa Program
27. (U) In December 2004, the Canadian government eliminated the blanket waiver of the Labor Market Opinion
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that had previously existed for obtaining an "exotic dancer" visa. Currently, in response to an individual employer's request to hire a temporary foreign exotic dancer, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) assesses the impact on the labor market, produces an opinion and issues a letter to the employer for use by the employee in obtaining a visa overseas. An employer is required to provide an employment contract, not to exceed one year, that contains, among other conditions, various wage and benefit requirements. Provinces are authorized to enforce the contract's working conditions. During calendar year 2005, fewer than ten temporary work permits were issued overseas to individuals seeking to come to Canada for employment as exotic dancers. During the same period, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) renewed and issued 63 work permits in Canada to applicants requesting exotic dancer permits. These include applications received at ports of entry from nationals of countries not requiring temporary resident visas to enter Canada. Of these, 81% (or 51) were issued to Romanian nationals.
28. (U) South Korea was admitted into Canada's Visa Waiver Program in 1995. The decision was reviewed and upheld in 2005, after the integrity of the program was substantiated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. As of November, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) reported that 47 countries are visa exempt and 140 require visas. During the rating period, there were no specific reports of trafficking victims from South Korea by either the Canadian law enforcement or NGO community.
Cooperation in International Trafficking Investigations
29. (U) Canada cooperates extensively with the U.S. on all matters involving the shared border, including on those impacting the crossing of persons and goods. Joint multi-year investigations and operations by U.S. and Canadian law enforcement identify, track and lead to the arrests of individuals on smuggling charges. On February 14, a cooperative two-year ICE, RCMP and CBSA investigation Qcooperative two-year ICE, RCMP and CBSA investigation resulted in the arrests of 17 individuals, 12 of whom were Canadians, for their alleged part in a smuggling ring that passed illegal aliens from the U.S. to Canada and from Canada to the U.S. Over the two years, border officials intercepted more than 100 illegal aliens from China, South Korea, Albania and Eastern Europe. More arrests in this case are expected. In addition, there are several additional joint investigations currently underway.
30. (U) Canada, with PSEPC in the lead, participates in the regular meetings of the Canada-U.S. Cross-Border Crime Forum (CBCF). Canada is working on a Joint U.S./Canadian Threat Assessment on Human Trafficking that will be presented at the fall 2006 session of the Cross-Border Crime Forum.
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31. (U) The GOC reports that Canadian officials have received cooperation from source countries in Asia where known victims have originated (for instance, in the upcoming IRPA prosecutions against an accused Chinese trafficker and his two Chinese victims). The GOC has assisted countries in Asia and in Eastern Europe but concerns about the victims' identity and the integrity of the investigation limit the availability of additional information.
Examples of Programming in Source Regions
32. (U) During the reporting period, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Foreign Affairs Canada (FAC) have funded counter-TIP projects worldwide, including in source countries. Efforts include the following:
-- $87,000 (Cdn $100,000) CIDA funding to support UNICEF and its partners in advocacy anti-TIP activities with Russian authorities and the NGO sector. -- $870,000 (Cdn $1 million) CIDA funding to the OSCE's Anti-Trafficking Program for awareness raising activities, researching the scope of the problem and identifying and providing assistance to victims, largely in the Balkans. -- $522,000 (Cdn $600,000) CIDA funding for Cambodian women and girls to improve awareness and increase available protection for domestic violence, abuse and trafficking for -- made of prefabricated bamboo sheets. The less developed Nicobari tribes, struggling more to adapt to the post-tsunami circumstances, are dissatisfied with the proposed prefabricated structures and instead want to use indigenous material to build their homes in the traditional manner. In addition, NGOs like SEEDS are complaining of being left out of the shelter design
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phase, reducing them to be mere contractors. Rebuilding of the jetties, roads and bridges has been delayed as well, due to slow administration and the late monsoon season.
6. (SBU) The Andaman Islands Chamber of Commerce (ACC) president Mohammad Jadwet told post that the commercial sector is still suffering as the GOI's supply of free rations is hampering the revival of inter-island retail trade that is an important part of the islands' economy. Tourism is picking up gradually, but the high-end international tourists (divers and bird watchers) are yet to return. Eco-tourism may require more time to resume as the archipelago's fragile marine ecosystem has not completely recovered. Still after one year, the seabed continues to shift. Andaman's capital city Port Blair sunk by about 3 ft immediately after the earthquake. Recent studies show that the city has now risen by about 6 inches. Ecologists and hydrologists believe that the ecosystem will take more time to stabilize.
7. (SBU) COMMENT: Although the GOI is attempting to wrap-up relief programs in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, as a senior Andaman official observed, "the long haul has just begun." Many islanders still have no permanent home and no prospect of employment in the near future. After Prime Minister's Singh's public admonishment, island administrators are making more of an effort to repair damaged infrastructure and restart the inter-island trade. However, the islands will suffer the lasting effects of the 2004 tsunami for many more years to come. JARDINE