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Protection from Human Trafficking Act now in effect

Act puts in place further safeguard for victims and survivors.
Alana Ross April 23
Prince Albert Northcote MLA Alana Ross in the legislature Monday.

REGINA —The Saskatchewan government has announced that the Protection from Human Trafficking Act has come into effect as of April 20.

In the legislature Monday, Prince Albert Northcote MLA Alana Ross announced the act had come into force. 

“Human trafficking is a horrific crime that has been growing at an alarming rate across Canada,” said Ross. “Reports from women of attempted trafficking have increased in major centres like Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Regina. While law enforcement focus on preventing these trafficking attempts in Saskatchewan, many survivors still need support for protection and justice. That is why this government’s new legislation takes a victim-centred approach.”

According to the province, the act provides further safeguards for victims and survivors of human trafficking. Among the provisions included is one where law enforcement can seek search warrants for residences or vehicles so they can locate and remove victims from the premises, for safety reasons. 

According to the province there are also penalties on traffickers such as fines, driver's licence suspensions and jail time, meant to discourage violations of these orders. Victims can launch lawsuits against human traffickers and seek financial compensation for harm suffered.

There are new protections for victims, such as a streamlined process for victims to seek a protection order, and new provisions for protection orders including one that prohibits traffickers from contacting their victims in any way. There is also a provision where victims can apply for a protection order on their own or be assisted by a shelter employee, a medical professional or another prescribed individual. 

“Mr. Speaker, this government takes the safety of Saskatchewan residents seriously, which is why we will continue to approach the issue of human trafficking by helping people feel safe and traffickers feel scared,” Ross said.

"Human trafficking is on the rise and continues to be under-reported in most jurisdictions," said Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant in a statement. “This legislation is intended to improve safety for survivors, while holding traffickers accountable for this horrific crime." 

"While criminal charges will continue to be the first response to these terrible crimes, this offers community-based organizations and law enforcement another tool to assist victims of human trafficking in Saskatchewan."


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