MacFarlane: Nova Scotia needs action on human trafficking

October 03, 2019 at 11:50 am

Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative MLA Karla MacFarlane says concrete measures are needed to protect Nova Scotia children from human trafficking.

In May, the RCMP reported that the number of suspected human trafficking cases were on the rise in Nova Scotia.

“As a mother and as a MLA, I know that we have a responsibility to take action to protect our children from human trafficking,” said MacFarlane. “Victims have suffered for far too long and have endured far too much without appropriate resources. And, the results are devastating.”

MacFarlane will today table three bills to address the lack of support and education on human trafficking:

•             Amendments to the Education Act, ensuring youth know the signs and the dangers of human trafficking by making education about human trafficking part of the curriculum in grades seven to nine.

•             An Act Respecting a Human Trafficking Prosecution Team establishes a team of crown attorneys with specialized knowledge about human trafficking.

•             Amendments to the Victims’ Rights and Services Act makes it mandatory for a court support worker to attend court dates with victims of human trafficking.

“We know the services provided through Victims’ Services to victims of specialized human trafficking, and their loved ones, is inadequate, and the proposed changes to their service delivery model will help to address some of those deficits,” said Bernadette MacDonald, a member of Nova Scotians for the Prevention of Prostitution and Sexualized Human Trafficking.

“What’s happening here today, is exactly what needs to happen. Laws need to change so we can protect our children from these predators and from what’s becoming a horrific crises in our country. We need more events like today,” said Jennifer Holleman, an advocate against human trafficking whose late daughter was a victim

In Question Period on Wednesday, the Minister of Justice agreed that victims of human trafficking should always have support in court. The Minister of Education also said that he was open to putting education about human trafficking through the curriculum process.

“Human Trafficking is a problem in Nova Scotia. It ruins lives. With common sense action like the ones outlined in these bills, we can start combating the problem,” said MacFarlane. “I sincerely hope Premier McNeil supports these bills so that together we can begin to start protecting our children.”