Joy Smith is recognized as one of Canada's leading anti-human trafficking activists. Since being elected, Joy has led the discussion of human trafficking at a national level which has resulted important changes in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Her continued efforts to raise the issue of human trafficking on the Status of Women Committee resulted in an intensive study of the issue by the committee and the release of highly regarded report on human trafficking.
One of her major achievements was the unanimous passing by the House of Commons of her Private Members Motion M-153 on Human Trafficking which called on Parliament to condemn the trafficking of women and children across international borders for the purposes of sexual exploitation and to immediately adopt a comprehensive strategy to combat the trafficking of persons worldwide.
In addition, Joy Smith has been a keynote speaker at a number of Human Trafficking forums and traveled to Ukraine and Israel to further the cause to put an end to the modern day slavery.
Over the past few years, MP Joy Smith has worked with federal Ministers on key legislation to further combat human trafficking and protect its victims and she has also introduced a number of Private Members Bills and Motions.
Last year, Joy Smith introduced Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offences involving trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen years). This Bill would amend Section 279.01 of Canada’s Criminal Code to include a 5 year mandatory penalty for the trafficking of a minor.
Bill C-268 has received broad support from stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking including law enforcement, victims’ services, First Nations representatives, and religious and secular non-governmental organizations.
MP Joy Smith has worked with her colleagues across party lines to gain support for this important amendment. On September 30, 2009, Bill C-268 received near unanimous support from Conservative, Liberal and NDP parties and was passed by the House of Commons in spite of opposition by the Bloc Quebecois.
Recently, MP Joy Smith has been acknowledged for securing federal funding to fight the trafficking of aboriginal women and children from First Nations communities from across Canada.