News

Concert Event to Raise Awareness
May 6 / 2014

~Join the SLCATWC, the Sarnia Evangelical Missionary Church and the band Lightswitch for an event to raise awareness about Human Trafficking!

Friday, May 23, 2014 @ 6:00pm at the Church.

This event is free, however, offerings are welcome to support stopping human trafficking. https://www.facebook.com/events/579891062100667/

 

 

 

 

Read More

~Join the SLCATWC, the Sarnia Evangelical Missionary Church and the band Lightswitch for an event to raise awareness about Human Trafficking!

Friday, May 23, 2014 @ 6:00pm at the Church.

This event is free, however, offerings are welcome to support stopping human trafficking. https://www.facebook.com/events/579891062100667/

 

 

 

 

Expand
Conference in Sarnia raises awareness on human trafficking activity
May 1 / 2014

Sarnia Observer

By Carl Hnatyshyn, QMI Agency

Human trafficking exists in Sarnia.

That’s the stark message that speakers laid out to an audience at the Human Trafficking: A Community Response conference held in Sarnia on Thursday.

Guest speakers from the RCMP, London Police Service, Sex Trade 101 and the Native Women’s Association of Canada gathered to address the topic of trafficking in Sarnia and Lambton County.

The conference was attended by an audience of nearly 100 people, made up of many front-line workers in the areas of law enforcement, security, social services and health care.

It was the first such conference in Sarnia, and the main purpose of the day was to broadcast the message that Sarnia is affected by the issue, said organizer Chantel Butterfield, a counsellor and member of the Sarnia-Lambton Committee Against the Trafficking of Women and Children.

“To get people talking, to increase people's knowledge about the subject and how we can start making connections throughout Sarnia to help victims of trafficking."

Because human trafficking isn’t on the radar screen for most people, supports are not always in place for those who do come forward, said Butterfield.

“Unfortunately, we don't reach as far as we need to in terms of immediate intervention and safety."

But as a border city with a high amount of cross-border traffic, the community should be more aware of the issue, she said.

Human trafficking can take many forms. Sex trafficking and forced labour are two of the more commonly known types of trafficking. But forced marriages, debt bondage and even organ harvesting are part of this growing criminal industry.

According to statistics, 600-900 people are trafficked into Canada annually, and an additional 1500-2200 are trafficked through Canada on their way to the U.S.

One of the day’s guest speakers, London Police Const. Jackie Henry, said that raising awareness of trafficking in places like Sarnia is imperative, as it no longer simply exists in big cities like Vancouver or Toronto.

“Human trafficking has become more prevalent in southwestern Ontario over the last five years ... it's migrated out of Toronto into surrounding communities,” she said.

Henry is part of the London Police Force’s human trafficking pilot project, a unit dedicated to dealing with the seeming increase in human trafficking crimes in this part of the country.

Henry discussed the disturbing frequency and variety of trafficking that takes place in southwestern Ontario.

"Access to the Internet and websites have made trafficking more common," she said.

For Butterfield, the one-day conference achieved its objective. The audience members were engaged, she said, and while the subject matter was “depressing” at times, speakers gave a clear insight into the scope and magnitude of the problem.

"But don't be a bystander. If you see something, say something. Call the police. Just try to help in whatever safe way that you can."

For more information, visit www.humantraffickingawareness.ca

 

 

Read More

Sarnia Observer

By Carl Hnatyshyn, QMI Agency

Human trafficking exists in Sarnia.

That’s the stark message that speakers laid out to an audience at the Human Trafficking: A Community Response conference held in Sarnia on Thursday.

Guest speakers from the RCMP, London Police Service, Sex Trade 101 and the Native Women’s Association of Canada gathered to address the topic of trafficking in Sarnia and Lambton County.

The conference was attended by an audience of nearly 100 people, made up of many front-line workers in the areas of law enforcement, security, social services and health care.

It was the first such conference in Sarnia, and the main purpose of the day was to broadcast the message that Sarnia is affected by the issue, said organizer Chantel Butterfield, a counsellor and member of the Sarnia-Lambton Committee Against the Trafficking of Women and Children.

“To get people talking, to increase people's knowledge about the subject and how we can start making connections throughout Sarnia to help victims of trafficking."

Because human trafficking isn’t on the radar screen for most people, supports are not always in place for those who do come forward, said Butterfield.

“Unfortunately, we don't reach as far as we need to in terms of immediate intervention and safety."

But as a border city with a high amount of cross-border traffic, the community should be more aware of the issue, she said.

Human trafficking can take many forms. Sex trafficking and forced labour are two of the more commonly known types of trafficking. But forced marriages, debt bondage and even organ harvesting are part of this growing criminal industry.

According to statistics, 600-900 people are trafficked into Canada annually, and an additional 1500-2200 are trafficked through Canada on their way to the U.S.

One of the day’s guest speakers, London Police Const. Jackie Henry, said that raising awareness of trafficking in places like Sarnia is imperative, as it no longer simply exists in big cities like Vancouver or Toronto.

“Human trafficking has become more prevalent in southwestern Ontario over the last five years ... it's migrated out of Toronto into surrounding communities,” she said.

Henry is part of the London Police Force’s human trafficking pilot project, a unit dedicated to dealing with the seeming increase in human trafficking crimes in this part of the country.

Henry discussed the disturbing frequency and variety of trafficking that takes place in southwestern Ontario.

"Access to the Internet and websites have made trafficking more common," she said.

For Butterfield, the one-day conference achieved its objective. The audience members were engaged, she said, and while the subject matter was “depressing” at times, speakers gave a clear insight into the scope and magnitude of the problem.

"But don't be a bystander. If you see something, say something. Call the police. Just try to help in whatever safe way that you can."

For more information, visit www.humantraffickingawareness.ca

 

 

Expand
Head of Human Trafficking Ring Gets 9 Years
February 11 / 2014

The London Free Press
Ian Robertson, QMI Agency

HAMILTON, Ont. -- The patriarch of an "evil" family of slavers was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in Canada's largest human trafficking case.

While nine years is a record for such a crime, Ferenc Domotor, 49, was ordered to only serve four-and-a-half years in a federal penitentiary after pre-trial jail time and his guilty plea was taken into consideration.

"Modern-day slavery is disgusting to us and offends our core values," Judge Stephen Glithero told the often stoic but sometimes grinning father who sat beside two others convicted in the case -- his son and wife.

He told a hushed downtown courtroom that Canada's government, citizens and judiciary "are offended and intolerant" of the family's recruitment of 19 fellow Hungarians, who were fed once a day, housed in basements, and forced to work for free at construction and housework jobs. They were coached to defraud welfare programs and threatened to remain silent.

To Domotor and his family, Canada's generous tradition of welcoming legitimate refugees and immigrants, and helping the needy, "became a joke," the judge said.

Domotor pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to commit human trafficking, being part of a criminal organization and coercing his victims to mislead immigration.

His son, Ferenc Domotor Jr., 21, a father-of-two who the judge said was "groomed" by his father to join the lucrative scheme, was sentenced to five years in prison. However, he was ordered to serve only 16 months after receiving credit for time already spent in prison and for pleading guilty to his crimes.

He pleaded guilty to the same charges as his father, but played a "lesser role" in the slave-work caper, Glithero said.

Ferenc Domotor's wife, Gyongyi Kolompar, 41, pleaded guilty to coercing victims to mislead immigration and welfare fraud exceeding $5,000.

Free on bail, she was sentenced to the time spent behind bars since her arrest and then released.

Before being told by court constables not to touch her husband or son before leaving, Kolompar was ordered to repay the city of Hamilton the money she collected in bogus Ontario work program payments while pretending to be a single family-supporter and mother.

After selling one of the family's homes for more than $700,000, she wrote a cheque for $24,865.14 following her arrest, but it bounced -- except for $50 -- when city officials tried to cash it, the judge said in his 85-minute sentencing synopsis.

Glithero told court that Domotor came to Canada in 1998 and claimed refugee status after a fraud arrest warrant was issued for him in Hungary.

The warrant expired even though officials in Hungary and Canada had knowledge of his whereabouts.

Domotor also faces deportation.

Source: http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2012/04/03/19590556.html

Read More

The London Free Press
Ian Robertson, QMI Agency

HAMILTON, Ont. -- The patriarch of an "evil" family of slavers was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in Canada's largest human trafficking case.

While nine years is a record for such a crime, Ferenc Domotor, 49, was ordered to only serve four-and-a-half years in a federal penitentiary after pre-trial jail time and his guilty plea was taken into consideration.

"Modern-day slavery is disgusting to us and offends our core values," Judge Stephen Glithero told the often stoic but sometimes grinning father who sat beside two others convicted in the case -- his son and wife.

He told a hushed downtown courtroom that Canada's government, citizens and judiciary "are offended and intolerant" of the family's recruitment of 19 fellow Hungarians, who were fed once a day, housed in basements, and forced to work for free at construction and housework jobs. They were coached to defraud welfare programs and threatened to remain silent.

To Domotor and his family, Canada's generous tradition of welcoming legitimate refugees and immigrants, and helping the needy, "became a joke," the judge said.

Domotor pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to commit human trafficking, being part of a criminal organization and coercing his victims to mislead immigration.

His son, Ferenc Domotor Jr., 21, a father-of-two who the judge said was "groomed" by his father to join the lucrative scheme, was sentenced to five years in prison. However, he was ordered to serve only 16 months after receiving credit for time already spent in prison and for pleading guilty to his crimes.

He pleaded guilty to the same charges as his father, but played a "lesser role" in the slave-work caper, Glithero said.

Ferenc Domotor's wife, Gyongyi Kolompar, 41, pleaded guilty to coercing victims to mislead immigration and welfare fraud exceeding $5,000.

Free on bail, she was sentenced to the time spent behind bars since her arrest and then released.

Before being told by court constables not to touch her husband or son before leaving, Kolompar was ordered to repay the city of Hamilton the money she collected in bogus Ontario work program payments while pretending to be a single family-supporter and mother.

After selling one of the family's homes for more than $700,000, she wrote a cheque for $24,865.14 following her arrest, but it bounced -- except for $50 -- when city officials tried to cash it, the judge said in his 85-minute sentencing synopsis.

Glithero told court that Domotor came to Canada in 1998 and claimed refugee status after a fraud arrest warrant was issued for him in Hungary.

The warrant expired even though officials in Hungary and Canada had knowledge of his whereabouts.

Domotor also faces deportation.

Source: http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2012/04/03/19590556.html

Expand
London Police, Social Workers Get Trained to Spot Human Trafficking Victims
March 6 / 2013

The London Free Press
Jennifer O'Brien

They're young girls forced to work in London's sex trade.

They're migrant workers who can't get their passports back until they pay off the traffickers who tricked them.

They're here — in the London area — doing what they do, because they're scared to go to police.

Now, for the first time, London police are trying to go to them — with the help of local social agencies and health care providers.

To fight human trafficking in London, every frontline police officer and more than 100 social workers are being trained how to identify victims.

"Our primary focus is to make sure all (victims') needs are met," said London police Det. Amanda Pfeffer, "We know that very often a (human trafficking) victim will not turn to police . . . It is imperative to us that we are prepared to assist victims."

In other words, victims won't be charged for coming forward, saying they've been coerced or duped into illegal activity.

"We will make sure their needs, whatever they are — shelter, food, medical and psychological needs — are met," Pfeffer said.

Wednesday, a two-day conference on human trafficking ended in London, sponsored by Western University’s Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women & Children.

Often confused with people-smuggling across borders, human trafficking involves exploitation — typically for sexual slavery or forced labour.

While authorities are convinced the issue is a problem in London, they say they have no idea how many people might be caught up in it.

Increasingly, people hoping to make money for their families abroad pay so-called job recruiters high fees to get them work in Canada, only to arrive and find out they've been duped and are here illegally, owing a huge debt.

Despite years of campaigns by social justice advocates, the issue is only now being recognized as a problem in many Canadian cities.

London police have yet to lay a human trafficking charge, but Pfeffer said they're seeking pimps and traffickers coercing victims to work.

At the London conference, the RCMP's human trafficking awareness co-ordinator outlined horrific cases. One was a young teen kept in a Toronto apartment, forced to have sex with at least 10 men a day. When she tried to escape, she was choked, beaten and hung off a balcony by her ankles.

"It's good that London has recognized this as a problem," said Marty Van Doren, a retired former RCMP superintendent.

“Human trafficking is alive and well in London and it is important for any police service to be able to recognize and identify victims.

"Look at the living conditions, look at the clothes — a lot of these young girls, all they have are their working clothes . . . Do they speak for themselves, or is someone speaking for them? Emergency rooms are great indicators of this," said Van Doren.

Van Doren and Pfeffer say police need the help of area social agencies who often work closely with society’s most vulnerable. Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, local agencies will be better equipped to help.

With the money, the London Coalition Assisting Trafficked Persons plans to train at least 120 frontline social workers and launch an interactive website, said Louise Pitre, head of the Sexual Assault Centre London, which will lead the training.

"I think this is going to make a huge difference in being able to find victims," said Sue Wilson of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who’s been advocating for human trafficking victims for 15 years.

Source: http://www.lfpress.com/2013/03/06/london-police-social-workers-get-trained-to-spot-human-trafficking-victims

Read More

The London Free Press
Jennifer O'Brien

They're young girls forced to work in London's sex trade.

They're migrant workers who can't get their passports back until they pay off the traffickers who tricked them.

They're here — in the London area — doing what they do, because they're scared to go to police.

Now, for the first time, London police are trying to go to them — with the help of local social agencies and health care providers.

To fight human trafficking in London, every frontline police officer and more than 100 social workers are being trained how to identify victims.

"Our primary focus is to make sure all (victims') needs are met," said London police Det. Amanda Pfeffer, "We know that very often a (human trafficking) victim will not turn to police . . . It is imperative to us that we are prepared to assist victims."

In other words, victims won't be charged for coming forward, saying they've been coerced or duped into illegal activity.

"We will make sure their needs, whatever they are — shelter, food, medical and psychological needs — are met," Pfeffer said.

Wednesday, a two-day conference on human trafficking ended in London, sponsored by Western University’s Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women & Children.

Often confused with people-smuggling across borders, human trafficking involves exploitation — typically for sexual slavery or forced labour.

While authorities are convinced the issue is a problem in London, they say they have no idea how many people might be caught up in it.

Increasingly, people hoping to make money for their families abroad pay so-called job recruiters high fees to get them work in Canada, only to arrive and find out they've been duped and are here illegally, owing a huge debt.

Despite years of campaigns by social justice advocates, the issue is only now being recognized as a problem in many Canadian cities.

London police have yet to lay a human trafficking charge, but Pfeffer said they're seeking pimps and traffickers coercing victims to work.

At the London conference, the RCMP's human trafficking awareness co-ordinator outlined horrific cases. One was a young teen kept in a Toronto apartment, forced to have sex with at least 10 men a day. When she tried to escape, she was choked, beaten and hung off a balcony by her ankles.

"It's good that London has recognized this as a problem," said Marty Van Doren, a retired former RCMP superintendent.

“Human trafficking is alive and well in London and it is important for any police service to be able to recognize and identify victims.

"Look at the living conditions, look at the clothes — a lot of these young girls, all they have are their working clothes . . . Do they speak for themselves, or is someone speaking for them? Emergency rooms are great indicators of this," said Van Doren.

Van Doren and Pfeffer say police need the help of area social agencies who often work closely with society’s most vulnerable. Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, local agencies will be better equipped to help.

With the money, the London Coalition Assisting Trafficked Persons plans to train at least 120 frontline social workers and launch an interactive website, said Louise Pitre, head of the Sexual Assault Centre London, which will lead the training.

"I think this is going to make a huge difference in being able to find victims," said Sue Wilson of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who’s been advocating for human trafficking victims for 15 years.

Source: http://www.lfpress.com/2013/03/06/london-police-social-workers-get-trained-to-spot-human-trafficking-victims

Expand
Ontario Truckers Asked to Watch for Human Trafficking
February 24 / 2012

CBC News

A new campaign targeting human trafficking is hitting Ontario highways, with the hopes that truckers and truck stop workers can help report suspicious activity.

The TruckSTOP campaign is an initiative from the Ottawa volunteer group Persons Against the Crime of Trafficking in humans, or PACT-Ottawa.

The program, funded in part by Public Safety Canada, is reaching out to transport truck drivers and people working at roadside stops to help them learn what to look for in cases of human trafficking and to report these instances.

"We think they can be a tremendous help in raising the observability and detection of the crime," said Duncan Baird, the director of the campaign. "There's first of all so many of them. And they're so well positioned to observe it. We really want to recruit them to the fight against human trafficking."

The pilot program, slated to launch in April, will include providing point-of-sale displays at stops from Windsor to Ottawa with tips for truckers on spotting human trafficking.

Truck-stop owner haunted by incident

Gail Cameron, the owner of Antrim Truck Stop in Arnprior, Ont., said she believes human trafficking is happening in the area and said she is haunted by an incident where she failed to act.

"I had an experience about 15 years ago where I had two young girls come into the truck stop," said Cameron.

"They were with a man and there was something wrong. And I never did anything about it. They looked really afraid. There was something wrong. It just wasn't right."

Truck driver Ron Thompson has been driving the highways for 30 years. He said he already calls in drunk drivers and traffic accidents.

Truckers welcome more information

"We're the eyes and the ears. We're out there too, along with the police officers. There's a lot more of us," he said.

"Law enforcement is trying to do the best they can. So if we can help...our industry can help. I'm all for it."

Joe Degier, a truck driver for 34 years, said the information would be welcome.

"I wouldn't know what to look for if I was driving down the road," said Degier.

The TruckSTOP information says truckers should watch for people who look like they are being controlled or watched, who are fearing for their safety, tired, hungry or showing signs of physical or emotional abuse and not in possession of identification or travel documents.

Christina Harrison-Baird, the chair of PACT-Ottawa and an International Human Rights Lawyer, said the idea is modelled after an American campaign, where one tip from a trucker helped break up a multi-state trafficking ring based in Ohio.

"There is both sexual exploitation and labour trafficking going on," said Harrison-Baird.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ontario-truckers-asked-to-watch-for-human-trafficking-1.1211254

Read More

CBC News

A new campaign targeting human trafficking is hitting Ontario highways, with the hopes that truckers and truck stop workers can help report suspicious activity.

The TruckSTOP campaign is an initiative from the Ottawa volunteer group Persons Against the Crime of Trafficking in humans, or PACT-Ottawa.

The program, funded in part by Public Safety Canada, is reaching out to transport truck drivers and people working at roadside stops to help them learn what to look for in cases of human trafficking and to report these instances.

"We think they can be a tremendous help in raising the observability and detection of the crime," said Duncan Baird, the director of the campaign. "There's first of all so many of them. And they're so well positioned to observe it. We really want to recruit them to the fight against human trafficking."

The pilot program, slated to launch in April, will include providing point-of-sale displays at stops from Windsor to Ottawa with tips for truckers on spotting human trafficking.

Truck-stop owner haunted by incident

Gail Cameron, the owner of Antrim Truck Stop in Arnprior, Ont., said she believes human trafficking is happening in the area and said she is haunted by an incident where she failed to act.

"I had an experience about 15 years ago where I had two young girls come into the truck stop," said Cameron.

"They were with a man and there was something wrong. And I never did anything about it. They looked really afraid. There was something wrong. It just wasn't right."

Truck driver Ron Thompson has been driving the highways for 30 years. He said he already calls in drunk drivers and traffic accidents.

Truckers welcome more information

"We're the eyes and the ears. We're out there too, along with the police officers. There's a lot more of us," he said.

"Law enforcement is trying to do the best they can. So if we can help...our industry can help. I'm all for it."

Joe Degier, a truck driver for 34 years, said the information would be welcome.

"I wouldn't know what to look for if I was driving down the road," said Degier.

The TruckSTOP information says truckers should watch for people who look like they are being controlled or watched, who are fearing for their safety, tired, hungry or showing signs of physical or emotional abuse and not in possession of identification or travel documents.

Christina Harrison-Baird, the chair of PACT-Ottawa and an International Human Rights Lawyer, said the idea is modelled after an American campaign, where one tip from a trucker helped break up a multi-state trafficking ring based in Ohio.

"There is both sexual exploitation and labour trafficking going on," said Harrison-Baird.

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ontario-truckers-asked-to-watch-for-human-trafficking-1.1211254

Expand

Pages