Thank you, Mr. Chairman, deputy chairs, and members of the committee, for allowing me this opportunity to discuss the devastating reality of human trafficking in Canada.
After having carefully read the transcripts of your previous meetings, I saw that you had already received many excellent recommendations from your witnesses. While keeping those in mind, I would like to add three of my own recommendations, which will target the fundamental causes of human trafficking.
Today I will orient my remarks on three main points of human trafficking. I have provided notes to you, but I'm not going to follow them loyally because I have to get through this, so I'm going to try to just skip through.
My three points are, one, the urgent need to educate people on child cybersex trafficking; two, human trafficking during international sporting games such as the Olympics; and three, sex tourism.
Honourable members, I'm asking you when you do this report to look outside of the normal way of doing a report. I have suggested a template because, in my 17 years here and beforehand as well, there have been so many reports. I suggest a template, just a humble suggestion. Whatever you recommend to Justice, ask them by what date they can implement and follow through. I humbly suggest that you write every recommendation that you make with the idea of implementation. That is where we will stop this trafficking.
For me, education is needed for cybersex trafficking, sex tourism, and international sporting events. All of this leads to sexual assault. The biggest thing is the demand for sex. That's what leads to sexual abuse.
For cybersex, number one, by educating people on cybersex trafficking, we raise awareness on this terrible crime and we start a conversation with people. Cybersex trafficking is a type of sex trafficking that exposes all children globally to countless predators. Underage boys and girls, some even toddlers, are forced to perform sexual activities in front of a camera.
A really sad fact is that, of 60 countries, Canada ranks in the top three for hosting websites and images and selling material containing child sexual abuse. It is absolutely shocking that our country plays a role in endorsing the explicit content of child cybersex trafficking. Unfortunately, it's a horrifying truth.
In November 2017, nine children were rescued in the Philippines by International Justice Mission and the police forces. Victims of sexual online exploitation and trafficking, these seven girls and two boys were as young as two years old to nine years old. The arrested suspect in the Philippines allegedly produced and sent sexually explicit images of very young children via social media to Canadians and others in exchange for money. There was a Saskatchewan man who was sentenced to 12 years in jail for his involvement in this crime.
Educating people by starting the conversation is key to raising awareness.
My first recommendation is that we need to put an end to cybersex. I read your transcripts, and I know that there are ways to do this. I won't repeat that. You already have that in mind, but I ask that one of your main recommendations would be that we have to stop cybersex.
My second point is that sexual exploitation is very present during international sporting events such as the Olympic Games. I come from B.C. where we had the Olympic Games, and we took every measure to have zero tolerance for people being trafficked to our country for the games.
At this point I want to recognize Mr. Nicholson.
Mr. Nicholson, you left a tremendous legacy when you took a stand that there would be no women trafficked into Canada during the games, and I want to thank you because I know you played a very important role.
I got involved in this issue in 2005 when Germany was bringing in almost 100,000 women, and they were building warehouses because prostitution is legal in Germany. With financial support from Sweden, women's groups and people like me were able to stop women being trafficked into Germany, but not quite—40,000 women were trafficked instead of 100,000.
I have two articles that I'm providing to you to give you an idea of what I am saying.
For the Olympics, with the help of then minister Nicholson and others, we were able to stop women being brought in. You would think I would be happy with that, but unfortunately we brought girls from the reserves to my city.
I walked the streets of Vancouver during the games, and I saw girls like Grace, who was 12 years old, and another 10-year-old girl. Men passively participated in the Olympics during the day, and in the evening they hurt our girls. That is why it is very important to make sure we have a template where, whenever we hold international games, we will not have girls trafficked, and we will protect our own girls.
We stopped trafficking into Vancouver from outside, but we hurt our own girls.
My second recommendation is, whenever we host international games in our country, Immigration and CBSA have to be vigilant in making sure that visas are not given to persons who will be trafficked into our country. This needs to be one of our main items on templates, especially when games are held in our country.
My third item is sex tourism. I have worked very hard on the issue of sex tourism. It offends me, and I'm sure it offends you as well, when men from our country go to other countries and hurt young boys and girls. We can stop this. I have details in my presentation, but I will tell you; there's a very easy way to stop it. The way we stop it is to have RCMP officers embedded in the countries where Canadian men go. If those RCMP officers did the investigation that is needed, we could prosecute those men in Canada. We have the act. We have the tools to stop sex tourism, and I am urging you to ask CBSA, ask Minister Goodale, to put one RCMP officer wherever the men go. For example, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, Thailand. I can tell you; I've seen it. There is one in Malaysia, and it's already made a difference, so I ask you to put in a simple recommendation, that we have RCMP officers in the embassy to stop sex tourism.
Let me tell you about Daisy. Daisy was one of these girls in the Dominican Republic, who was taken by Yolanda, and Daisy was only 12 years old. She was raped many times a day by Canadian men. With the help of the RCMP and the Malaysian government, Daisy was able to be rescued. Later on, if you want to know how this rescue mission works, I will tell you because I have been part of these rescue missions. I ask that you look at Daisy's story and many other girls' stories, to see that my third recommendation is that we have RCMP officers posted in embassies to help target perpetrators, investigate, and collaborate with local law enforcement to put an end to sex tourism.
I am absolutely convinced that if we had a few prosecutions, men would not pack their bags and go for a holiday for sex tourism. They would realize that when they came home their lives would be right there for everybody to see what kind of work they do. I ask you, please consider this recommendation.
I want to say one thing to you. When I read the transcripts, Mr. Boissonnault and Mr. Rankin spoke a lot about data. Data is important, but at the moment we only get it from the RCMP, and we get it from the courts. We don't collect it from civil society or all victims, so please do not look at data. Look at saving the lives of innocent girls.
When I go on rescue missions, I don't go in myself, but I observe. I see when young girls as small as 10 are brought out of cages, out in the open, by the International Justice Mission, which is a Canadian organization. Three months later, when I go to speak to those girls—they are young girls like my own granddaughter—when we sit in a circle and talk they caress me in a sexual way. I try to stop it, but that's the only thing they know.
Honourable members, you have a lot of power. Please help to keep those innocent girls safe.
Thank you very much.