Nunavut MP dumps on human trafficking report’s author
“I think the author should be taken to task and be able to report to the territorial government”
Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq says a recent report on human trafficking and child exploitation among Inuit should have gone straight to the people it concerns most — the people of Nunavut.
The 146-page report, entitled “Service and Capacity Review For Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking in Nunavut,” was written by Roos-Remillard Consulting Services, using funds from the federal Department of Justice.
The report documents dozens of stories, compiled by Helen Roos, about Inuit living in the Montreal Road-Vanier area of Ottawa who have fallen into the sex trade.
It also cites information from RCMP involving similar illegal activity in which no criminal charges were laid.
Aglukkaq says she had never heard of the document before it was reported on by Nunatsiaq News and other news organizations this month.
“I found that report was truly disturbing,” Aglukkaq told Nunatsiaq News Feb. 13.
“Just generally speaking, my take on any research in the North has always been that we don’t study us from afar,” she said.
“There’s so much research done outside of the North without ever talking to Northerners, and it’s concerning that reports of this nature would be distributed, or released without ever talking to people on the ground,” she said.
“It’s important that we do our own research as well,” Aglukkaq said, pointing out that Nunavut has its own health research network that should be kept informed on matters that involve Nunavummiut.
“I think the author should be taken to task and be able to report to the territorial government on how she concluded her findings,” the MP said.
Aglukkaq pointed out that the federal government is well aware of crimes related to human trafficking.
The work of Joy Smith, the Conservative MP for the Kildonan-St. Paul riding in Winnipeg, reflects that, she said.
Smith tabled two private members bills to combat such offenses, known as Bill-310 and Bill C-268, which passed in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
“It’s through her work that we’ve been able to stop rings of human trafficking from occurring,” Aglukkaq said. “We’ve been able to return children and girls to their families through her initiatives.”