The Impact of Law Enforcement Agencies’ Perceptions on Human Trafficking in Canada


Online - In person

An O’Brien Fellows in Residence seminar, With Dr. Olivia Smith

In-person and online. sharon.webb [at] (Registration required!)

About the talk

The Ministry of Public Security reports of 2021 show that human trafficking in Canada increased while the number of prosecution of cases remain low. Progress in combatting human trafficking has been sidelined due to the COVID 19 pandemic and there is urgent need to reprioritize addressing the crime of human trafficking.  A Country Assessment has identified that (1) successful actions against human trafficking in Canada largely depends on law enforcement agencies (2) the perceptions and stereotyping of the crime and victims by law enforcement is too often resulting in the under identification or misidentification of the crime and its victims (3) the impact the perceptions of law enforcement officers  have on the  interpretation and application of the provincial and  national laws on human trafficking in Canada and in  Ontario in  specific.  

About the speaker

Olivia Smith is an O’Brien Fellow in Residence at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism researching in the areas of human trafficking and migration.  

She is a Consultant on labour migration and human trafficking and the Executive Director for the Caribbean Anti Human Trafficking Foundation. She has worked with several regional and international institutions including the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) as Project Lead on Trafficking in Persons (Barbados) and with The British Institute of International and Comparative Law Institute (BIICL) as National Consultant on Human Trafficking in Guyana. At CARICOM Secretariat she served as Deputy Programme Manager, Free Movement and Labour. She was a Political Specialist at the US Embassy, Barbados, the Human Resources Development Expert for the European Union Delegation to Barbados, a Lecturer at the University of the West Indies in migration studies and served for ten years as an Immigration Officer, Government of Barbados.

Dr. Smith holds a PhD in Political Science and a Master of Business Administration among other qualifications. She is a Past Fellow of the University of Oxford in forced migration.

For registration or sharon.webb [at] (more information.)

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