Human trafficking has plagued Nova Scotia for decades and, still, not nearly enough is being done by the government to address it says PC Status of Women’s Critic, Karla MacFarlane.
Numbers released from Statistics Canada on Wednesday show that Nova Scotia is one of the worst provinces along with Ontario, for human trafficking. Both provinces have rates higher than the national average. Nova Scotia, which accounts for three per cent of the overall Canadian population but six per cent of all human trafficking incidents, was the only other province or territory to be overrepresented in this manner.
“These statistics prove that we need to do much better. More needs to be done on the ground. Nova Scotia is used as a corridor to transport victims of human trafficking from here to larger urban centres, and it needs to stop,” says MacFarlane.
According to data, 13 is the average age girls are lured into human trafficking in Canada.
Members of Persons Against Non-State Torture, Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald, have been advocating for a stronger stance from Nova Scotia on human trafficking. “To add to the data on human trafficking we know of an invisible unacknowledged population, from baby girls to women in Nova Scotia, who have been tortured and trafficked by their families and others.”
“We have known for some time this is happening in our province, I have spoken up on this multiple times and it is deplorable that it is still happening at an alarming rate,” says MacFarlane. “The numbers show precisely what I have learned from victims, their families, and service providers. The PCs have been urging the McNeil government to act, these numbers prove how necessary actions are.”
MacFarlane urges Justice Minister Furey to act and follow through on his proposed approach from February.
“This is a human rights issue. The majority of trafficking victims are women and girls, a third are children," says MacFarlane. "At what point does the government step in to save the lives of the Nova Scotians being sold with abuse, abducted and tortured?”