Ben Perrin, a law professor at the University of B. An Ontario man convicted in Canada's first human trafficking case last year used the free site to sell a year-old girl as a prostitute, Perrin said.
Last week, after facing numerous lawsuits, Craigslist announced it would shut down its exotic services section in the U. Critics have called Craigslist an online brothel after a Boston masseuse was killed earlier this year when she responded to an ad on the popular site. Perrin said he's hoping a discussion with the company will result in major changes in Canada as well.
Susan MacTavish Best, a spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Craigslist, said the company "had a thoughtful and productive conversation with Mr. Perrin and law enforcement this past week. For example, the company has come up with a filtering system that prohibit certain words prevalent in the sex industry from being used inalthough those who use the site have found ways to bypass it, Perrin said.
Such verification is necessary on the U. Ontario resident Naomi Baker, who recently founded the non-profit group Canada Fights Human Trafficking, said Craigslist should shut down its erotic services section in Canada, in keeping with its decision in the U.
How do you let some people on and some people off if you think it's human trafficking? You can't govern it, it's a can of worms.
Baker said the organization will be training volunteers from its British Columbia chapter to respond to an expected increase in human trafficking cases during the winter Olympics in Vancouver. Law enforcement officials say predators who lure young victims into the sex trade don't face much of a deterrent because unlike in the United States, Canada does not have a mandatory minimum sentence for trafficking people under Arsenault said there's little understanding, even among law enforcement officials and prosecutors, about human trafficking, which is often equated with human smuggling.
But people don't have to be transported across international borders to be sold into sexual slavery.
Arsenault said pimps often move underage people from one province to another in Canada. The RCMP has said betweenand four million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking and the industry is almost on par with drug smuggling when it comes to the billions of dollars it generates.
Police and various groups are urging Parliament to pass a private member's bill that calls for a mandatory minimum sentence of five years for those convicted of trafficking people for profit. Proponents hope the bill will move through that stage quickly, especially if a minority federal government falls and progress on the bill becomes meaningless. In the United States, those who traffic children under 14 must serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, while the offence against children between 14 and 18 amounts to an automatic 10 years behind bars.
Craigslist is not taking responsibility for the woman's death. Craigslist has taken some measures to protect Canadian and American users of its site. The bill has passed first reading and is now in the committee stage.
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