Human Trafficking and the 2010 Olympics

January 5, 2009

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
Re: Human Trafficking and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics

The National Council of Women of Canada wishes to express its deep concern that the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics may provide yet another opportunity for human traffickers.

The Future Group released a report in November of 2008 entitled Faster, Higher, Stronger: Preventing Human Trafficking at the 2010 Olympics, which links international sports events with an upsurge in prostitution. The Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer referenced this report when she addressed her fellow Senators on this topic. She stated that the concerns are two-fold: “first, that a short-term increase in demand for prostitution during the games could be filled by human trafficking victims; and second, that the traffickers may attempt to bring trafficked persons posing as ‘visitors’ into Canada for the Olympics …”

The Future Group’s report recommends that the federal and British Columbia governments devote their counter-trafficking efforts to deterring traffickers and potential commercial sex users; disrupting trafficking networks and prosecuting traffickers; preventing human trafficking by identifying victims in transit; and, protecting trafficked persons to help them recover from their ordeal.

We endorse the above recommendations and add our voice to that of Professor Perrin, assistant professor of law at UBC and the lead author of this report, when he states that the Prime Minister and Premier Gordon Campbell “need to commit together to end human trafficking and to ensure that the existing problem is not exacerbated by the 2010 Olympics.”


Karen Dempsey
President, NCWC

cc: Premier Gordon Campbell, British Columbia
Mayor Gregor Robertson, Vancouver