EP3: The false divide: labour versus sex trafficking
In this episode, we speak to three fierce advocates about the false divide between labour and sex trafficking in rural and urban communities. We look at how gender and economic coercion happen in forced marriage, migrant labour, and domestic and transnational sex trafficking. We ask, what connects these experiences? Is the label “trafficking” helpful to survivors or service providers? How can services and legal remedies reflect the reality of this spectrum of exploitation? And, what might the post-COVID environment look like for survivors?
Hosted by Elvira Truglia and Fay Faraday
Click on the 'Transcript' tab to read the show transcript.
Deepa Mattoo is Executive Director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic in Toronto which provides legal, interpretation and counselling services to women, non-binary and trans people who experience gender-based violence, including in trafficking, documented and undocumented migrant work, undocumented sex work, and forced marriage.
Shelley Gilbert is Coordinator of Social Work Services at Legal Assistance of Windsor and is responsible for the WEFiGHT Anti-Human Trafficking Project which provides direct services to survivors of domestic and international sex and labour trafficking, forced labour and forced marriage.
Luis Alberto Mata leads the Anti-Human Trafficking Program at FCJ Refugee Centre in Toronto. The program takes a holistic approach to offering direct services to people who have been trafficked, walking with survivors through legal processes, immigration procedures, settlement and recovery. The program includes three projects, focusing respectively on migrant workers, migrant women and youth.
On the show, we referred to “the spectrum of exploitation” as a way to bridge the divide between sex and labour trafficking. Click here to see how this idea is developed by the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR).
Our guests also pointed to challenges in recognizing labour trafficking. The case study below walks through how forced labour happens in Canada, the barriers to getting support for survivors, and what advocates say needs to change in policy. See: Infographic: Forced Labour Happens in Canada
This episode mentions how difficult it is to access legal remedies and get convictions on human trafficking. CCR spoke to immigration and refugee lawyers across Canada for insight on what they need to improve access to legal services and avoid creating more harm for survivors. See: Trafficked Persons: Avoiding Collateral Harm
For an overview of the laws, policies and remedies for trafficked persons, see: Human Trafficking and the Law: How to Protect Trafficked Persons.
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Credits: This show was produced by Elvira Truglia and Fay Faraday. We thank the Canadian Women's Foundation for their financial support.