Ontario moved to crack down on human trafficking by introducing legislation that would give police more power to swiftly access information in suspected cases.
The bill, if passed, would compel hotels and similar companies to keep a list of information on guests that officers could request if they believe it could help locate, identify or protect a suspected human trafficking victim.
The demand from law enforcement to view guest information wouldn’t require an order from a judge if an officer reasonably believes a victim would be harmed or if the information might be destroyed before an order is issued.
Companies or guests who fail comply with the rules or make false statements could be fined up to $5,000.
The bill would also require companies that sell sexual services to publish their contact information and respond to law enforcement within a set time frame.
Premier Doug Ford said his province has become a “hub” for human trafficking and the legislation is desperately needed.
“We will not allow this to continue here in Ontario,” he said.
The legislation would also increase penalties for those involved in human trafficking cases that interfere with a child in protective custody, with possible fines of up to $50,000 or two years of jail time.
Ontario’s government would have to review its anti-human trafficking strategy every five years under the new legislation, and that would include consultations with the public, human trafficking survivors and other stakeholders.
The legislation was announced on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said the Progressive Conservative government worked with stakeholders to develop the bill.
“It is another tool in our toolbox to further our work in combating human trafficking,” Jones said Monday.
A Statistics Canada report published last year found that Ontario accounted for 68 per cent of all police-reported human trafficking incidents between 2009 and 2018.
HD Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?
Answers In Genesis, in their article about Human Trafficking, explained that “The Creator calls upon Christians, now as much as ever, to shine the light of truth into the dark corners of the world, exposing the evil that is sex trafficking”:
When the West rejected the Creator, it tossed out the one sure foundation for human dignity and purity. Without the light of God’s Word, the floodgates have opened to a new form of slavery in the West—trafficking in human lives to fulfill carnal lusts.
Such repulsive slavery is a consequence of our fallen world, a vile distortion of God’s plan for human relationships. God made life in the Garden of Eden a paradise, but man sinned and that sin infects our culture today. God created a man and a woman to be companions, married to one another in a faithful, lifelong relationship (Matthew 19:3–5; Ephesians 5:22–33), but sex trafficking is the furthest thing from that ideal.
Everything about the prostitution and pornography industries is offensive because they violate the sanctity of human beings, created in God’s image. But mankind has despised this clear revelation of Scripture, leading to our current evil state. When society embraces the idea that humans are merely evolved animals with no Creator, the strong needlessly prey upon the weak. But when they realize that everyone is uniquely created and loved by God, each life gains infinite value beyond mere self-gratification and survival of the fittest.
Our Christian worldview clearly teaches that no one is a commodity to be used by others (1 Timothy 1:10; see Philippians 2:3). Any other argument, based on shifting human opinion, lacks the sure moral compass that comes from the authority of God’s Word.
In the past, Christianity has been the greatest force in history in elevating women to levels of respect and dignity, and Christians have been at the forefront in battling sin and evil. The Creator calls upon Christians, now as much as ever, to shine the light of truth into the dark corners of the world, exposing the evil that is sex trafficking.