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Conference Aims to Increase Human Trafficking Awareness

Conference Aims to Increase Human Trafficking Awareness

Calgary… Law enforcement members, crown prosecutors, government officials, and service providers are meeting in Banff next week to discuss human trafficking. The conference aims to better inform and equip individuals who respond to, investigate, or prosecute human trafficking cases. 

   

The conference, which runs April 15-17, is hosted in partnership between the RCMP, Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), and the Action Coalition on Human Trafficking (ACT Alberta). The conference features global authorities on human trafficking and will explore such issues as prosecutions, investigations, and victim assistance. The conference will also feature keynote speaker Kathryn Bolkovac, known for blowing the whistle against the United Nations involvement in sex trafficking in post-war Bosnia.

   

“Human trafficking exploits some of our most vulnerable people,” said Jonathan Denis, Minister of Alberta Justice and Solicitor General. “This conference gives law enforcement and legal professionals an opportunity to discuss how to work together to prevent and stop this horrible crime.”

   

Human trafficking has been assessed as the second most profitable criminal business globally, behind only drugs. However, human trafficking is largely underreported due to the reluctance of victims to come forward and the clandestine nature of the business. ACT Alberta reported a 500% increase in identified human trafficking victims between 2011 and 2012 and the numbers continue to grow. 

   

“Victims of human trafficking require complex services, anything from immigration and legal support to long term counseling and employment training. But in order to first reach victims, we need law enforcement, criminal justice professionals and service providers to receive training like this. This conference will help us continue our collaborative work to identify and respond to human trafficking in Alberta” says Andrea Burkhart, Executive Director with ACT Alberta.

   

The human trafficking conference aims to dispel several of the many preconceptions surrounding the issue, as it affects men and women, young and old, Canadians and foreign nationals, and many, if not all ethnicities and cultural groups. Victims of trafficking are forced into the commercial sex industry, factory sweat shops, food services sector, construction industry, agricultural work, domestic servitude, and gang activities.

   

“Human trafficking affects every region in the world and Alberta is no exception,” said ALERT Chief Executive Officer Insp. Charmaine Bulger. “Collectively, we need to be more proactive in reporting and disrupting criminal networks that exploit men, women, and children and trap them in situations of forced labour and/or sexual exploitation.”

   

Human trafficking involves recruitment, transportation, or harbouring a person though abduction, force, threats, coercion, and/or fraud for the purposes of exploitation. 

   

Since 2022, CISA has been guided by four pillars that focus the effort to promote an integrated, intelligence-led approach to combating organized crime; these are:

  • Building Relationships with Stakeholders;
  • Promote Intel Sharing Across the Province;
  • Being Proactive and Identify Emerging Trends; and
  • Investing in Our People Through Training and Development

Protecting Kids Online | Internet Child Exploitation

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

FILE INTAKES

680

872

1,149

1,114

3,815

2,994

2,764

SUSPECTS CHARGED

22

16

34

37

109

81

125

CHARGES LAID

87

45

123

160

415

351

413

CHILDREN RESCUED

26

78

56

43

203

46

100

EXHIBITS SEIZED

335

368

545

476

1,724

1,243

1,845

TOTAL PHOTOS/VIDEOS

262,400

511,133

1,374,310

606,254

2,754,097

2,551,921

13,260,819

Stopping Human Trafficking | HUMAN TRAFFICKING & COUNTER EXPLOITATION

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

13

10

7

4

34

30

76

CHARGES LAID

79

46

87

19

231

96

157

VICTIM INTERVENTIONS

30

29

17

37

113

28

22

Intelligence & Expertise | CISA / Training

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

INTELLIGENCE REPORTS

409

296

327

442

1,474

1,560

1,318

TRAINING COURSES

5

3

8

11

27

36

25

CANDIDATES TRAINED

321

56

135

350

862

933

638

Disrupt & Dismantle Organized Crime | Combined Special Forces Enforcement

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

40

27

42

32

141

197

168

CHARGES LAID

176

156

237

231

800

1,088

820

FIREARMS SEIZED

105

53

26

48

232

102

126

EST. VALUE OF DRUGS SEIZED

$906,814

$553,851

$2,725,161

$1,148,337

$5,334,163

$10,898,269

$334,093,020

PROCEEDS OF CRIME SEIZED

$218,133

$52,970

$130,996

$230,195

$632,294

$1,432,847

$21,740,617

ANNUAL Regional ResultS

ARRESTS

CHARGES

FIREARMS

DRUGS

PROCEEDS

CALGARY

24

110

14

$937,422

$65,881

EDMONTON

17

131

45

$592,839

$272,446

FORT MCMURRAY

8

78

4

$352,942

$144,301

GRANDE PRAIRIE

7

17

13

$192,145

$31,855

LETHBRIDGE

7

29

44

$349,773

$51,245

LLOYDMINSTER

24

93

41

$164,134

$12,504

MEDICINE HAT

37

179

13

$293,108

$7,861

RED DEER

17

163

58

$2,451,800

$46,201

TOTALS

141

800

232

$5,334,163

$632,294

Organized Property Crimes | Auto Crimes

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

SUSPECTS CHARGED

1

1

2

1

10

CHARGES LAID

11

47

STOLEN VEHICLES

23

15

1

6

45

245

118

RECOVERED ASSETS

$1,432,000

$941,025

$108,000

$260,000

$2,741025

$8,420,500

$3,919,500

Firearms investigations | Firearms lab & Gang suPpression teams

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

2023-24

2022-23

2021-22

FIREARMS EXAMINATIONS

349

351

243

235

1,178

EXHIBIT EXAMINATIONS

1,316

1,409

891

1,099

4,715

SERIAL NUMBER RESTORATIONS

31

34

19

24

108

IBIS SUBMISSIONS

343

421

1,334

304

2,402

GUN SEIZURES

1

14

15

SUSPECTS CHARGED

4

22

26

CHARGES LAID

41

144

185

Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) involves images and/or videos that depict the sexual abuse of minors – the majority of which involve prepubescent children. Often, CSAM involves explicit and/or extreme sexual assaults against the child victim (Cybertip.ca).

Learn more about Internet Child Exploitation and ALERT’s integrated teams combatting this issue.

Ghost Guns are illegal, privately manufactured firearms or lower receivers. These weapons are often made with 3D-printers, and undermine public safety due to their lack of licensing requirements, serialization and safety controls.

Learn more about Ghost Guns on ALERT’s dedicated Privately Manufactured Firearms info page