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If you think a child is being harmed or neglected,
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Responding to Sexual Exploitation: Tracia's Trust

Legislation and Law Enforcement


The Child and Family Services Act Charges

In June 2005, legislation was amended to substantially increase the offence provisions in The Child and Family Services Act for offences related to causing a child to be in need of protection, including for sexual exploitation and interference of a child in care. Penalties were formerly a maximum of $500 and three months incarceration and are now increased to a maximum of $50,000 and two years incarceration, making the penalties among the toughest in Canada. Since 2005, CFS agencies and law enforcement services have made greater use of these offense provisions in The Child and Family Services Act in an attempt to deter predators and protect children in danger of being harboured and sexually exploited.
 

Child and Family Services (CFS) Investigation Specialist

Housed at the child and family services intake agency in Winnipeg, Child and Family All Nations Coordinated Response Network (ANCR), two sexual exploitation investigation specialists work in partnership with the Winnipeg Police Service and the StreetReach Winnipeg team to provide a multi-system response to a specifically targeted group of children. The group served by the ANCR investigation specialists are children under the age of 18 who are victimized through prostitution throughout ANCR’s jurisdiction.
 

The Child Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking Act

The Child Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking Act became law on April 30, 2012. This creates a new protection order for victims of child sexual exploitation or human trafficking as defined in the Act. The law offers protection to victims by requiring the child sexual exploiter or human trafficker to stay away from the victim. It also allows a victim of human trafficking to sue the trafficker for money. This new law does not change the fact that child sexual exploitation and human trafficking are still offences under the Criminal Code, and that there is still a duty to report any form of child abuse under The Child and Family Services Act.
 

Mandatory Reporting – Cybertip.ca

Cybertip Logo

On April 15, 2009, mandatory reporting of child pornography was proclaimed in Manitoba. Manitoba became the first Canadian province to make it mandatory for all citizens to report child pornography. The Child and Family Services Act was amended to include child pornography in the definition of child abuse. Under the new law, if a Manitoban sees something they believe to be child pornography; they are required to report it to Cybertip.ca. The goal of mandatory reporting is to facilitate the reporting of children in need of protection. All reports relating to a child victim and/or suspect in Manitoba are forwarded to child and family services and Manitoba law enforcement so they can coordinate investigations into the allegation and ensure children are protected from abuse. Please click here for complete information.
 
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has run several public awareness campaigns on this issue.
 
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has also released a report that gauges the effectiveness of Manitoba’s mandatory reporting of child pornography legislation, which was enacted in April 2009. The report, titled Mandatory Reporting of Child Pornography in Manitoba: 2009-2010 Annual Review, analyzes the first-year impact of the legislation.
 

Manitoba Integrated Task Force for Missing and Murdered Women

The province, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) formally established a task force in August 2009 to review cases involving missing and murdered women. It was announced that the unit’s focus would be:
  • the review of unsolved homicide files involving women victims:
  • the review of missing person files involving women victims where foul play is suspected;
  • the analysis of the file review data to determine what, if any, linkages exist between occurrences; and
  • the determination of appropriate avenues for follow up investigation(s).
The Province of Manitoba is lending support to this task.
 

Prostitution Diversion Program

The Prostitution Diversion Program (PDP) is a community based alternative measures program offered to women, men and transgender individuals who have been sexually exploited through prostitution and charged with “Communicating For the Purpose of Prostitution”.  The program includes educational, therapeutic, and recreational components at a three day, two night workshop style camp in rural Manitoba. The program is offered by The Salvation Army, in partnership with Manitoba Justice (Public Prosecutions and Probation Services) and the Winnipeg Police Service.

Prostitution Offender Program

Salvation Army Logo
The Prostitution Offender Program (POP) is a community-based, alternative measures program offered to males and females who have been arrested for “Communicating For The Purpose of Prostitution” as a consumer, provided that he/she is willing to accept responsibility for the offence.  The program is offered by The Salvation Army, in partnership with Manitoba Justice (Public Prosecutions and Probation Services) and the Winnipeg Police Service.

StreetReach Programs

Street ReachBoth StreetReach Winnipeg and StreetReach North were modelled after the High-Risk Victims (HRV) Unit that was established in Dallas, Texas by the Dallas Police Service. Sergeant Byron Fassett, manager of the Dallas Police Service's HRV Unit, provided two days of training in Winnipeg in February 2009 to 140 stakeholders, including a large contingent from law enforcement services, CFS agencies and social service organizations from locations around the province. Shortly thereafter, the Winnipeg Police Service initiated a similar response to high-risk victims in the Winnipeg area and partnered with the Child Protection Branch, CFS agencies and outreach organizations to form StreetReach Winnipeg. Members of StreetReach Winnipeg then provided the orientation and other assistance required to establish a StreetReach North, located in Thompson, Manitoba.
 
Both programs are built upon the premise that children most frequently missing are the same children at highest risk of being sexually exploited, drug and gang involved and victims to physical and sexual assault and murder. A rapid and multi-system coordinated response to identify, locate and assist these high-risk victims is needed. The response also needs to be personalized, so children that are identified as high-risk victims are served as much as possible by the same police officer, CFS worker and outreach worker each time they require service. This facilitates the development of trust-based relationships with the at risk children. Additionally, workers can respond quicker if they become familiar with the locations and habits of high-risk victims when they go missing. Another unique feature of StreetReach is the partnership that has developed with Child Find Manitoba and local media outlets, whereby police services have regularly been issuing media alerts when the public's assistance is needed to located missing high-risk victims.
 
Manitoba’s StreetReach programs have received acknowledgement and accolades from other police and CFS agencies across Canada, and from other Canadian experts and writers on the issue of child sexual exploitation and trafficking, as a unique and promising response to missing, exploited and trafficked children.

StreetReach Winnipeg

An initiative announced under Tracia’s Trust, StreetReach Winnipeg was formed in July 2009 to provide a coordinated and integrated effort by Winnipeg Police Service, the Child Protection Branch, CFS agencies and several other social service agencies that provide outreach or related services for missing children in Winnipeg to
  • Help prevent high-risk runaway youth from becoming exploited;
  • Help sexually exploited youth who are missing escape further exploitation;
  • Better identify the predators and the drug and prostitution houses where missing high-risk and sexually exploited youth are being harboured and exposed to exploitation.
The StreetReach Winnipeg Program is coordinated by the Winnipeg Police Service and the Child Protection Branch and is provided with ongoing advice and guidance by a multi-sector advisory committee that is comprised of its member organizations.

StreetReach North

An initiative announced under Tracia’s Trust, the StreetReach North Program was formed in April 2010 to provide a coordinated and integrated effort between CFS, RCMP and youth-serving organizations in Thompson to:
  • Help prevent high-risk runaway youth from becoming exploited;
  • Help sexually exploited youth who are missing escape further exploitation;
  • Better identify the predators and the drug and prostitution houses where missing high-risk and sexually exploited youth are being harboured and exposed to exploitation.
 
A community consultation committee was developed to discuss community needs and the Thompson Boys and Girls Club was selected to operate the StreetReach North Program jointly with the RCMP Thompson detachment. A multi-sector advisory committee has been used to help develop the StreetReach North Team and an outreach coordinator has been hired to work in partnership with other outreach services, a designated RCMP officer, and the Sexual Exploitation Northern Regional Team in Thompson.

Winnipeg Outreach Workers – Residential Child Care Facilities

Residential child care facilities in Winnipeg have outreach workers who are out searching for missing children, primarily from their facilities. These outreach workers are all members of StreetReach Winnipeg.