Ottawa, ON: Joy Smith, Member of Parliament for Kildonan – St. Paul, Canada’s leading anti-human trafficking advocate, on behalf of the Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, is leading the Canadian delegation to the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conference. The conference, titled “Strengthening the OSCE Response to Trafficking in Human Beings”, takes place in Kyiv, Ukraine on June 10 -11, 2013. MP Smith has been selected as one of the dignitaries to speak at the opening ceremonies as well as to present on Tues. June 11, during Session 2 (Prosecution: No Impunity for Offenders – Better Protection of Victims’ Rights).

“Human trafficking is a dangerous and despicable crime,” said the Hon. John Baird. “That’s why we’ve taken action to make Canada a less attractive destination for these criminal ventures. I am pleased to share the Canadian experience with our international partners, and reiterate our commitment to ensuring the integrity of our generous immigration and asylum systems.”

“I am proud of Canada’s leadership in combating human trafficking,” said MP Smith. “I thank Ukraine for hosting and organizing this high level conference and Canada commends Ukraine for making the fight against human trafficking one of its priority areas in 2013.”

“The work of the OSCE on human rights is essential in an organization that takes a comprehensive approach to peace and security in Europe and Eurasia”, said MP Smith. “The OSCE’s area of work that covers human rights, democratic development and rule of law, is a key priority for Canada at the OSCE.”

Canada is committed to the global fight against human trafficking and launched its National Action Plan to combat this heinous crime one year ago (June 6, 2012). This Action Plan is a comprehensive blueprint to guide the Government of Canada’s fight against this serious crime.

“We must work together to strengthen international efforts to effectively respond to human trafficking,” added MP Smith. “I look forward to representing Canada and collaborating with experts from across the OSCE region on how best to combat human trafficking through a comprehensive approach.”