Speaker Profiles

Joy Smith

Joy Smith

Founder & President

Joy Smith Foundation

Mrs. Smith has been recognized as one of Canada's leading anti-trafficking activists. Since being elected, Mrs. Smith has led the discussion on 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 in 2007 called Turning Outrage Into Action.

One of her major achievements was the unanimous passing by the House of Commons in 2007 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.

Over the past few years, Mrs. Smith has worked with federal Ministers on key legislation to further combat human trafficking and protect its victims
Mrs. Smith has also been acknowledged for securing federal funding to fight the trafficking of aboriginal women and children from First Nations communities from across Canada.

In September 2010, Mrs. Smith released a proposal for a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking called Connecting the Dots. This proposal has been strongly endorsed by law enforcement, agencies and victims groups across Canada and adopted by the Conservative election platform in the recent election. .

In 2009, 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 amended Section 279.01 of Canada’s Criminal Code to create a new offence for child trafficking with a five year mandatory penalty.

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 legislation. 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.

On June 29, 2010, Bill C-268 was granted Royal Assent and became law. The successful passage of a Private Members Bill is rare and it is only the 15th time in the history of the Canada that a Private Members Bill amended the Criminal Code.


On October 3, 2011, MP Joy Smith introduced Bill C-310, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons). Bill C-310 amends the Criminal Code of Canada to make two important changes regarding human trafficking. First, Bill C-310 adds the current trafficking in persons offences [s.279.01, s.279.011, s.279.02 & s.279.03 to the list of offences which, if committed outside Canada by a Canadian or permanent resident, could be prosecuted in Canada. The second amendment enhances the current definition of exploitation in the trafficking in persons offence [s.279.04 of the Criminal Code].

Bill C-310 was supported by law enforcement, NGOs, and victim service representatives. It also received unanimous support from all MPs and Senators.

On June 28, 2012, Bill C-310 received Royal Assent and became law. MP Joy Smith became the first Parliamentarian in Canadian history to pass two Private Members' Bill that amended the Criminal Code.

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