December 09, 2020

Province Introduces New Human Trafficking Legislation

Saskatchewan is introducing new legislation that will provide additional support to victims and survivors of human trafficking.

The Protection From Human Trafficking Act creates a streamlined process for victims to seek a protection order against their traffickers.  This will prohibit traffickers from contacting them in any way, directly or indirectly.  Significant penalties to deter violations of a protection order, including fines, drivers license suspensions, and jail terms are built into the legislation.

“Human trafficking is a monstrous crime that robs victims, often women and children, of their normal lives and of their freedom, forcing them into an existence akin to modern-day slavery,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said.  “This Act will improve safety options for survivors, while also increasingly the accountability of traffickers.”

The legislation also enables victims to start a lawsuit against their traffickers to seek compensation for harm suffered.  Other measures will make it easier for law enforcement to search residences or vehicles in which a victim might be held.

As part of the development of this Act, government consulted with its partners in community based organizations and law enforcement, who indicated they would welcome additional tools to assist victims in Saskatchewan.  This Act is an important step toward providing those tools.

This Act responds to the growing incidence of human trafficking throughout Canada, and will create an approach that is consistent with legislation implemented in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.