The refugee crisis and the backlash from the general public is of particular interest to me because of my advocacy work. If its this difficult to get the general public to be comfortable having refugees in their midst, imaging the struggle someone who has been rescued from trafficking faces when trying to find their way in the world. Assuming that a trafficking victim even has the documentation to prove they are who they claim they are, the story of being trafficked is so horrifying and “impossible” to the average mind that professionals assume that any damage to the individual’s credit or reputation must be their fault, and so the system is set to punish victims over and over again, keeping them from valuable and important social support services, educational programs, job shadowing, housing, etc.
Those who prey off of the victims of trafficking don’t just destroy a person’s soul, but also their finances and standing in the community. Criminal activity performed by the slave during their time with the trafficker ends up their permanent record, even if they were forced to perform it against their will on threat of their life.
Slaves lose their access to their finances, identification, and are under total and complete control of their handlers/masters, and this fact is rather sticky when it comes to legislation, because while one could easily forgive a trafficking victim for rather simplistic vice related crimes like prostitution or selling marijuana, it becomes much more difficult to forgive them for the crime of murder – even in passion – or kidnapping and extortion, which is an intrinsic aspect to the trade and trafficking of human beings, or else the crimes would never take place.
Because the traffickers are such smooth operators and are used to operating in the shadows, they are rarely if ever caught and prosecuted, while their victims pay over and over again in the legal and financial nightmare they are caught up in.
The refugee crisis Canada is facing highlights several egregious and glaring social issues facing Canada, from the need to divest from oil in order to broker peace to the need for decent housing and addressing poverty and inequality in Canada which leads to practices such as trafficking.