Ontario Tech University

2nd Annual Human Trafficking Conference

Oct. 10th & 11th, 2019

Combating Labour Trafficking

 A collaborative community focused event designed for practitioners and researchers to examine the impacts and current efforts to combat labour trafficking, the global initiatives focused on reducing labour trafficking and panel discussions to support strategy development, public policy discussions and related research initiatives.

GREAT partnered with the Ontario Tech University in hosting their 2nd Annual Human Trafficking Conference

Combating Labour Trafficking 

in Oshawa, Ontario.

The conference was be held at Ontario Tech University downtown campus, at 61 Charles Street in Oshawa, Ontario on Thursday Oct. 10 and Friday October 11th, 2019.

The event sponsored by GREAT and presented at no cost to participants through the generous financial support of Corporate Contracting Services Ltd. in Ajax, ON, one of our corporate sponsors.

The conference was a collaborative community focused event designed for practitioners and researchers to examine the impacts and current efforts to combat labour trafficking, the global initiatives focused on reducing labour trafficking and panel discussions to support strategy development and related research initiatives.

Speakers included:

Sue O’Sullivan – past Ombudsman for Victims of Crime • Canada
As the past Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (OFOVC), Sue served as an independent resource for victims in Canada to ensure the federal government met its responsibilities to victims of crime, while also working to ensure that policy makers and other criminal justice personnel were aware of victims’ needs and concerns and to identify important issues and trends that might negatively impact victims. Sue will speak about this work in relation to labour trafficking survivors.

Susan Orlando • Ministry of the Attorney General • Ontario
Susan Orlando is the provincial coordinator of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s human trafficking prosecution teams. She will speak about human trafficking prosecutions in Ontario and the challenges associated with labour trafficking prosecutions.

Lynette Gonzales • Deputy District Attorney • Fresno, CA.
Lynette is currently assigned to the office’s newly formed Human Trafficking Unit and is active in the Fresno County Human Trafficking Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of local law enforcement agencies, federal law enforcement agencies and many local non-profit organizations dedicated to combating human trafficking in California’s central valley. Ms. Gonzales is credited with the successful prosecution and conviction of what is believed to be California’s first farm labor trafficking case.

Dr. Marcel van der Watt • University of South Africa • Johannesburg
Dr. Marcel van der Watt served as an human trafficking investigator with South African Police and is now a lecturer at the University of South Africa and an international speaker on the issue of human trafficking, as well as the Director of Research for GREAT. He will discuss the issue of corruption across the African continent and its impact on labour trafficking, as well as providing an update on the INTERPOL HT Conference in Buenos Aires.

Jesson Reyes • Migrants Resource Centre Canada • Toronto, ON
Jesson serves as the Managing Director of the Migrants Resource Centre Canada, which is a registered not-profit migrant service institution which aims to empower workers through service, information and advocacy. He will be speaking on the challenges that he has encountered in supporting labour trafficking survivors and the opportunities for community engagement and collaboration.

Kristen Abrams • Buffett—McCain Institute • Washington D.C.
Kristen Leanderson Abrams is the senior director of combating human trafficking at the McCain Institute. In this capacity, she provides strategic leadership and operational management for the Institute’s program to combat all forms of human trafficking. Abrams is also the director of Buffett-McCain Institute Initiative to Combat Modern Slavery, a multi-disciplinary effort to address forced labor and labor exploitation in the agricultural sector.

Luis Mata • FCJ Refugee Centre.• Toronto, ON.
Luis Alberto Mata is a Convention Refugee, writer, researcher and human rights activist from Colombia. He has lived in and contributed to Canadian society since his arrival in 2002. AS AHTP Coordinator he offers direct services to people who have been trafficked, taking into account the range of supports needed, walking with survivors through legal processes, immigration procedures, settlement and recovery and taking a holistic approach to ensure people are informed and empowered to steer their own course out of the trafficking experience

Shelley Gilbert • Legal Assistance of Windsor • Windsor, ON
(Windsor-Essex Fights the International Growth of Human Trafficking). She has been the Chair of WEFiGHT since 2008 and was a founding member in 2004. This community-led initiative, including community service representatives and people with lived experience, responds to the needs of domestic and internationally trafficked men and women in the areas of forced labour

Detective Dan Longoria—Fresno P.D.— Fresno, CA
Detective Dan Longoria has over twenty-one years of law enforcement experience with the Fresno Police Department, with fifteen of those years working in various investigations units. He has been assigned to the primary unit responsible for investigating Human Trafficking. The Fresno Police Department’s unit is one of the partners that make up the Fresno County Human Trafficking Task Force and Det. Longoria was the lead investigator in the first farm labor conviction of a Labor Trafficker in the State of California.

The Barrie Police Service and the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).
Forty-three labour trafficking survivors were freed in February 2019 as a result of a joint project by the Barrie Police Service, the OPP, CBSA and other agencies. This case study will focus on the trauma informed, victim focused nature of the investigation.