News/Canada: Canada Might Aid Boat People Who Turn In Traffickers

New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view Other groups

Subject: News/Canada: Canada Might Aid Boat People Who Turn In Traffickers
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sun Nov 28 1999 - 14:42:13 EST


          Canada Might Aid Boat People Who Turn In Traffickers

    By Allan Dowd
     VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canada may offer landed immigrant status to boat
people who agree to testify against the "human trafficking" rings that
brought them illegally to the country's shores, Canada's immigration
minister said Friday.
     The proposal is among a series of changes being considered for the
country's immigration laws, which came under fire this summer when a series
of smuggling boats packed with migrants from China arrived on Canada's
Pacific Coast .
     Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan floated the proposal in an address
to immigration lawyers, and said it might help boat people overcome their
fear of turning in traffickers, who she likened to slave traders.
     "I want to consider strengthening our case against organized criminals
by empowering their victims," Caplan told members of the Canadian Bar
Association.
     The traffickers, who are frequently members of international
Asian-based crime gangs, often charge migrants more than $30,000 to make
the transpacific voyage in cramped and dilapidated former fishing vessels.
     According to knowledgeable observers, the traffickers -- known as
"snake heads" -- demand little cash up front but have the migrants pay off
their debts by working in indentured labor, prostitution for example, in
major cities such as Toronto and New York.
     "These victims often have reason to fear for their lives and the lives
of their family members back home. This exploitation is reprehensible,"
Caplan said.
     She said Canada sees a difference between traditional smugglers, who
sometimes help individuals escape persecution, and the trafficking rings
that have targeted Canada, Australia and the United States with boatloads
of people.
     "In such criminally organized human trafficking, Canada is facing
something new," Caplan said.
     Caplan defended the new practice of detaining boat people while their
refugee claims are considered on grounds that authorities feared the
migrants would disappear before their cases were decided.
     Of the 78 migrants who arrived in the first boatload to hit the
Pacific Coast this year and were not detained, more than 60 are now
missing. Many are thought to have been taken by the traffickers to New York
to pay off their debts.
     Caplan said the government would likely "clarify" its policy on using
detention when it tables an updated immigration law early next year, but
she sidestepped questions on whether that would lead to an increase in
detentions.
     ($1-$1.47 Canadian)

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
__________________

Stop-traffic is a facilitated, international electronic mailing list
dealing with human rights abuses associated with trafficking
in persons, with an emphasis on public health and trafficking
in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
order bride arrangements.
_________________

Stop-Traffic archive:

http://www.friends-partners.org/partners/stop-traffic/1999/
_________________

To subscribe, please send an email to

listproc@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU

Leave the subject blank. In the body of your message, write:

subscribe STOP-TRAFFIC <Your Name>

Inserting your real name (without brackets <>) after STOP-TRAFFIC.
___________________

To unsubscribe, send email to

listproc@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU

Leave the subject blank. In the body of your message write:

unsubscribe STOP-TRAFFIC
_________________________

To send a message to STOP-TRAFFIC, email:

stop-traffic@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU
_________________________

To receive stop-traffic in digest form, please send an email to

listproc@SOLAR.RTD.UTK.EDU

Leave the subject blank. In the body of your message, write:

set STOP-TRAFFIC mail digest

ListProcessor receives your request, changes the mail status to digest and
returns a message to you about the change.


New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view Other groups

This archive was generated by hypermail 2a22 : Sun Nov 28 1999 - 14:43:14 EST