Archived News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

April 30, 2012


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New Law Will Give More Protection, Power to Victims: Ministers

Groundbreaking legislation allowing protection orders to keep abusers away from victims of human trafficking and sexually exploited children, and allowing victims of human trafficking to sue for compensation is now law in Manitoba, Justice Minister Andrew Swan and Family Services and Labour Minister Jennifer Howard announced today.

“These crimes target the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Swan.  “This legislation helps create both necessary protections and an opportunity for victims to take back a piece of what has been taken from them.  By way of this law, we’re sending predators a strong message that they will be held accountable for their crimes.”

“We’re the first province in the country to step up and implement such legislation to provide more protection and power to victims of these types of crimes,” said Howard.  “It is a key part of our strategy, called Tracia’s Trust, to address sexual exploitation and human trafficking, targeting those who take advantage of others.”

Under the new law, protection orders can be granted in relation to child victims of sexual exploitation or adult or child victims of human trafficking.  In the case of children, the protection order can be requested by an appropriate child welfare agency, parent or the child’s legal guardian.  Protection orders can forbid the person they are made against from having contact with a particular person, following them or coming near specific places like someone’s home, school or workplace.  Protection orders are enforced by the police. 

The new law also allows a victim of human trafficking to sue for compensation.  Under the legislation, someone who has been trafficked can ask the court to:

  • award damages,
  • order the trafficker to account for any profits made by trafficking the victim and pay that amount to the victim, and
  • issue an injunction requiring the trafficker to stop that activity.

Human trafficking happens when someone makes a person they have abducted, recruited, transported or hidden become involved in prostitution or another form of sexual exploitation, provide forced labour or services or have an organ or tissue removed.  Traffickers often control their victims through force, the threat of force, fraud, deception, intimidation, the abuse of power or a position of trust, or the repeated provision of a controlled substance like alcohol or drugs.

Child sexual exploitation occurs where a young person is made to engage in sexual activity by force, the threat of force, intimidation, the abuse of power or a position of trust, or in exchange for a controlled substance such as drugs or alcohol.

There is no fee to apply and orders can be made quickly in urgent situations. They usually are in effect for three years and can be renewed if necessary.

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