moved for leave to introduce Bill C-602, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons).
Mr. Speaker, today it is my great pleasure and honour to introduce this bill on trafficking in persons. This bill has the support of many women's and victims' groups. My Bloc Québécois colleagues will be pleased to support this bill.
I hope to have the support of all members of this House because this bill is so important. It was developed together with the police officers on the street, both those in the morality squads and those who deal with the sexual exploitation of children.
What does this bill seek to do? First, it introduces the notion of consecutive sentences for both trafficking in persons and procuring. It will allow for exemplary sentences. Second, it clarifies the definition of trafficking by adding the notion of the domestic or international context, thereby recognizing that trafficking does not just happen internationally, but also within Canada, domestically, from one city to another, one neighbourhood to another.
The bill also provides a clearer understanding of the word “exploitation” by distinguishing between labour exploitation and sexual exploitation. We have kept the notion of exploitation for the purpose of organ removal, of course.
This is a very important bill because it gives tools to the police and permits the confiscation of the proceeds of crime, from both trafficking and procuring, a power that does not currently exist.
Lastly, it adds another important point. Unfortunately, since 1995, there have not been a lot of charges because of the way the law is written, but during hearings, the victim is largely responsible for both the accusation and the burden of proof. What we are doing here is adding presumption, which means that the person exploiting the victim will have to prove that he is not living off the proceeds of that exploitation. This provision already exists for procuring, but not for human trafficking. That does not make sense because 80% to 90% of human trafficking is for the purpose of exploitation.
I invite all hon. members to support this bill, which will give tools to the police and which was drafted with the help of police.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)