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Human Trafficking, National Security, and Humanitarian Principles in Canada (CARFMS)

Date and time

2012.05.17, 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM


Panel 1 : Balancing rights and security. Human smuggling and recent legal developments and practices in Canada – Établir un équilibre entre les droits humains et la sécurité. Le trafic de migrants et les développements normatifs et les pratiques récents au Canada
Michael White, Walking the tightrope - balancing rights and national security Estibaliz Jimenez, La criminalisation du trafic de migrants au Canada : un outil de lutte contre les menaces à la sécurité qui victimise les réfugiés
Sharryn Aiken, Human smuggling and Canadian refugee law: A critique
Julie Kaye, Human Trafficking, National Security, and Humanitarian Principles in Canada
Bobby Thomas Cameron: Children seeking asylum: detention and deportation in Canada

Julie Lyn Kaye


Given recent emphasis on the relationship between human trafficking and transnational crime, the experiences of trafficked persons are increasingly intertwined with the territorial boundaries of the state, political boundaries of citizenship, and symbolic boundaries of national identity. A conflict has emerged between human rights (e.g. rights of migrant workers) and international systems boundary maintenance (e.g. national security), resulting in a growing number of people falling into a “citizenship gap” where their “lives are subject to global markets and mobility without secure membership in a national community” (Brysk and Shafir 2004: 6). Such a gap creates vulnerabilities for temporary workers, such as those who have been exploited or trafficked despite their legal status in Canada. This paper examines the experiences of frontline workers and trafficked persons in Western Canada to understand experiences of exploitation and human trafficking through legal entry points in to Canada, such as the Temporary Foreign Worker program and the Live-In Caregiver program. In doing so, this paper highlights the emerging conflict between humanitarian principles (i.e. human rights) – which have the perceived ability to challenge sovereign modes of inclusion and exclusion – and the sovereignty of the nation-state to insist on the role of citizen as the primary political entity (Nyers 2006). The paper further explores how this conflict is reconstructing boundaries of territory, citizenship, and identity in Canada.




CARFMS 2012 Conference


Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), York University






Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers, Occupations in services - Domestic work, Sales and service occupations - general, Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - general, Natural resources, agriculture and related production occupations - general, Labourers in food, beverage and associated products processing, Dancers, and Other

Content types

Policy analysis

Target groups


Regulation domains

Right to change employer, Right to choose place of residence, Newcomers integration programs, Access to permanent status, and Right to liberty

Geographical focuses

Canada, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, Other provinces, Federal, and Nova Scotia