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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Modern Slavery News Round-Up

Ottawa plan to combat human trafficking in booming Alberta
Canada's federal government's new plan to combat human trafficking recognizes Alberta's particular vulnerability to forced labor.  A Calgary-based researcher said that cases in this province have frequently involved adults of both genders being coerced into types of work outside of the sex trade.  The plan, called The National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, includes the formation of an investigative squad dedicated to fighting this issue.  "...the forced labor issue is alive in that area, mainly because of the demand of workers in Alberta," says Sgt. Marie-Claude Arsenault.  The unit will receive $2 million to combat this problem.

Wisconsin officials strengthen fight against human trafficking
This past week 300 officials received training on how to identify cases of human trafficking after law enforcement leaders acknowledged that they could do a better attacking these criminals.  "...it's an issue that we frequently categorize wrong," says Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.  The officials included law enforcement officers, prosecutors and victim-assistant specialists.  Survivors also attended to share their stories.    Tritt-Feleshchuk testified that she was lured not by drugs, but the "promise of love' and called for a law that would allow victims to have their records expunged if they were forced to commit this crime.  "While most prostitution stories end in jail, that's where my journey began."

Forced marriage: an ancient practice in modern Britain
Already illegal in Scotland, the British government is expected to pass a law under which parents in England and Wales who force their children to marry could be jailed.  The courts have had the power to issue civil orders, but now those who violate the "Forced Marriage Act" could be sent to jail for up to two years.  Forced marriage, distinct from an arranged marriage, is a phenomenon in Britain's large Asian community, particularly among Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.  Theresa May, the Home Secretary, also revealed a three-year, $772,000 fund to assist schools in recognizing signs of forced marriage among their students.

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