Mr. Speaker, injustice takes many forms, one being the modern day slavery of human trafficking. The UN estimates that four million people are trafficked each year under the threat of violence, and these numbers are growing.
Canada is far from immune. The RCMP reports about 800 people are smuggled into the country each year and we are a major transit point for trafficking into the United States. Canada's Solicitor General estimates between 8,000 and 16,000 illegal immigrants are forced to work in the sex trade industry.
The cruelty and inhumanity of human trafficking cannot be quantified. Promises of a better life are being used to lure unsuspecting women and children from around the world.
Canada's response to this growing epidemic has been lacklustre. Only a few months ago were the first charges laid under the three-year-old Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Even though the government promised human trafficking legislation over a year ago, it has only just been tabled. It is now time for the government to provide the necessary resources to ensure this legislation can be effectively enforced.