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SCOTT’S HUMAN TRAFFICKING BILL PASSES SECOND READING

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Published on February 22, 2016 with No Comments

QUEEN’S PARK – Today would have marked Ontario’s first Human Trafficking Awareness Day, as called for in the Saving the Girl Next Door Act, 2016. PC Women’s Critic, Laurie Scott, MPP, introduced Bill 158 last week, calling attention to the human trafficking crisis in Ontario.

On Thursday, February 18, 2016, the Ontario Legislature voted unanimously to carry Bill 158 through Second Reading. It was then referred to the Justice Committee.

“With the support of leading experts and survivors, I am encouraged and emboldened that my bill had unanimous consent to pass Second Reading,” said Scott. “I call on the government to take immediate action and pass the bill into law.”

Last week, MPP Scott was joined in united support with advocates against sexual exploitation from Voice Found, Boost Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention, and Sextrade 101. Joy Smith, former MP from Manitoba and founder of the Joy Smith Foundation dedicated to eradicating human trafficking, applauded Scott for demonstrating extraordinary leadership.

Bill 158 has received wide-ranging attention across the province. Premier Kathleen Wynne has also acknowledged Scott’s bill, adding that it will be a part of the government’s consultation in developing a broader strategy.

The Saving the Girl Next Door Act will also enhance existing laws to create and enforce protection orders on behalf of victims of trafficking. Victims will be able to sue their traffickers, and Ontario’s sex offender registry, Christopher’s Law, will include trafficking as a sexual offence under the age of 18.

“Both my bill and taskforce must be implemented,” added Scott. “We owe it to our frontline workers, survivors, and advocates, and most importantly, we owe it to the girl next door.”

 

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