Canada May Aid Boat People Who Turn In Traffickers

Monday, December 06, 1999
Canada may offer landed immigrant status to boat people who agree to testify against the "human trafficking" rings that brought them illegally to the country's shores, according to Canada's immigration minister. The proposal is among a series of changes being considered for the country's immigration laws, which came under fire this summer when a series of smuggling boats packed with migrants from China arrived on Canada's Pacific Coast. Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan floated the proposal in an address to immigration lawyers, and said it might help boat people overcome their fear of turning in traffickers, whom she likened to slave traders. "I want to consider strengthening our case against organized criminals by empowering their victims," Caplan said. The traffickers, who are frequently members of international Asian-based crime gangs, often charge migrants more than $30,000 to make the transpacific voyage in cramped and dilapidated former fishing vessels. According to knowledgeable observers, the traffickers - known as "snake heads" - demand little cash up front but have the migrants pay off their debts by working in indentured labor, prostitution for example, in major cities such as Toronto and New York. "These victims often have reason to fear for their lives and the lives of their family members back home. This exploitation is reprehensible," Caplan said. She said the Canadian government sees a difference between traditional smugglers, who sometimes help individuals escape persecution, and the trafficking rings that have targeted Canada, Australia and the United States with boatloads of people. "In such criminally organized human trafficking, Canada is facing something new," Caplan said. Caplan defended the new practice of detaining boat people while their refugee claims are considered on grounds that authorities fear the migrants would disappear before their cases were decided. Of the 78 migrants who arrived in the first boatload to hit the Pacific Coast this year and were not detained, more than 60 are now missing. Many are thought to have been taken by the traffickers to New York to pay off their debts. Caplan said the government would likely "clarify" its policy on using detention when it tables an updated immigration law early next year, but did not indicate whether that would lead to an increase in detentions. - (Allan Dowd, Reuters)
Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ship Repair & Conversion

Fuel-saving Modifications for Containerships’ Engines

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., and 100% owned subsidiary MES Technoservice Co., Ltd., have received an order from a Taiwan shipowner for fuel-efficiency

STS Young Endeavour Prepares for World Voyage

The Royal Australian Navy operated Sail Training Ship, Young Endeavour, is undergoing maintenance work in preparation for a 12-month world circumnavigation. It

Maritime Reporter @ 75: The Daily Cartoon

Maritime Reporter & Engineering News was founded by John J. O'Malley (1905-1980) in 1939, and today ranks as the world's largest audited trade publication in the world serving the maritime industry,

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0966 sec (10 req/sec)