2019-2020 Public Safety Canada departmental progress report for Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security
Public Safety Canada and Women, Peace and Security
Public Safety Canada and its various portfolio agencies are playing an important role in advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda over the span of Canada’s National Action Plan (the Action Plan) on WPS 2017-2022. In leading Canada’s domestic response to radicalization to violence, Public Safety ‘s Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence (Canada Centre), coordinates and develops policy expertise, mobilizes community outreach, and enhances research in countering radicalization to violence. In addition, Public Safety Canada leads the Government of Canada’s effort to combat human trafficking domestically, including support of Canada’s G7 commitments in this area. The Correctional Service of Canada, an agency within the Public Safety Portfolio, is the federal agency responsible for administering sentences of two years or more, along with supervising offenders under conditional release, as well as capacity building activities in international correctional services.
Countering Radicalization to Violence
The Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence (Canada Centre) leads domestic efforts for preventing and countering radicalization to violence (CRV) and violent extremism in Canada. The Canada Centre continues to bolster its CRV initiatives by integrating key tenets of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (WPS), as well as a thorough consideration and analysis of social identity factors, including gender, and their intersectionalities within the public safety and public health nexus. Additionally, the Canada Centre is working with domestic and international partners to address key evidence gaps for prevention and intervention programming to counter radicalization to violence, including explicit focus on areas relevant to and directly involving the WPS agenda. Much of this work involves joint or coordinated investment on projects such as systematic evidence reviews, and developing resources to more effectively and appropriately measure and evaluate CRV programs.
The Canada Centre, through the Community Resilience Fund, provides funding to support the efforts of researchers, front-line practitioners, and community-based organizations to prevent and counter radicalization to violence across Canada, with $7 million available each year for new and existing projects. The 2019 call for proposals was based on the three priority areas identified within the National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence (National Strategy) including: 1) building, sharing and using knowledge, 2) addressing radicalization to violence in the online space, and 3) supporting interventions. The 2019 CRF call for applications also saw the addition of a fourth funding stream – youth-led projects. This stream was made available to empower projects for youth, led by youth, using a streamlined version of the application to ensure enhanced accessibility of the fund.
Canada’s 2012-16 National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking underwent a formal horizontal evaluation and the findings were published in December 2017. The evaluation recommendations called for improved capacity to collect national data on human trafficking; a mechanism to connect victims with access to dedicated services; and closer partnerships with other levels of government, Indigenous communities, civil society, the private sector, and bilateral and multilateral partners. The evaluation will help inform the Government of Canada’s way forward in combatting human trafficking.
In September and October 2018, Public Safety Canada (Public Safety) held human trafficking consultations across the country to gather stakeholder views on challenges and gaps in the federal response to trafficking in persons, to inform the development of Canada’s new national strategy to combat human trafficking.
Federal Budget 2018 announced $14.51 million over five years and $2.89 million per year ongoing to put in place a National Human Trafficking Hotline. In October 2018, following an open call for applications, the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, a non-governmental organization (NGO), was selected through Public Safety Canada’s Contribution Program to Combat Serious and Organized Crime (CPCSOC) to implement Canada’s Human Trafficking Hotline. The Hotline was officially launched on May 29, 2019 and is operational 24/7, 365 days a year with multilingual services to allow victims to easily access the help they need.
Correctional Service of Canada
The work that CSC conducts in advancing the WPS agenda is primarily funded by GAC and thus may change from year to year.
While the department’s primary mission is domestic, it is contributing to the implementation of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security through its work on countering radicalization to violence, human trafficking, and other internationally connected efforts.
Countering radicalization to violence
- In October 2019, the Canada Centre, in collaboration with Encounters with Canada, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter, hosted a National Youth Summit on countering violent extremist use of the internet. Youth participants from across the country engaged in discussions on content moderation and freedom of expression online, algorithms and user experience, data collection and privacy, gender and safety online, media, journalism in the online space, and critical thinking, digital literacy and youth mentoring.
- Public Safety Canada (through the Canada Centre), along with the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, the U.S. Departmental of Homeland Security, and the Swedish Contingency Agency have co-sponsored the Global Safety Evaluation Network. The project aims to build and support collaborations among practitioners and researchers from NATO member and partner countries to design and implement program evaluations tailored to the local contexts and needs of each country, including a focus on considerations of gender and diversity for the for design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs.
- The Canada Centre is collaborating with domestic and international partners on a series of systematic evidence reviews, and evidence and gap maps, to help further build the evidence base for policy, programming and research for CRV through the recently announced Campbell Global Pooled Fund for Countering Violent Extremism. Key partners on the Campbell project include the Five Country ‘5RD’ Countering Violent Extremism Network, which includes Canada, the USA, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, where Canada’s contribution includes reviews on WPS-relevant topics like ‘The impact of exposure to hate in traditional and social media on individuals, audiences, and communities,’ and ‘Scientific knowledge and approaches to defining and measuring hate.’ Both reviews are early stages but will encompass forms of hate that target identities including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
Community Resilience Fund
- Under the third priority area of the National Strategy, the Canada Centre has continued to provide funding, support and capacity building for local comprehensive approaches to interventions. All intervention programs funded by the Canada Centre are designed to be gender- and age-sensitive, and human service practitioners take into account all social identity factors when considering the support needed for individuals in the process of radicalizing to violence. Throughout 2019 to 2020, the Canada Centre has maintained its financial support for seven CRV intervention programs throughout the country located in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.
- Many projects funded through the Community Resilience Fund continue to develop the evidence base of the nexus between gender and security, and pay special attention to the specific needs, risks, and strengths of diverse communities and youth. Two projects in particular are focusing on creating best practices for youth to respond to online hate. The YWCA-led project, “Block Hate: Building Resilience against Online Hate Speech” emphasizes engagement with civil society, digital industry as well as survivors to create concrete responses to online hate speech. In addition, MediaSmarts’ project, “Pushing Back Against Hate in Online Communities” intends to build the capacity of youth to push back on hate content in order to establish tolerance for diversity as a social norm in online communities.
- The Canada Centre recognizes the importance of deepening knowledge in order to respond to the rise of ideologically-motivated violent extremism, including violent misogyny, which directly impacts the security of women and girls. The group most well-known within the violent misogynists communities are incels, a portmanteau of involuntarily celibate. In 2020, the Canada Centre began funding for a project led by Moonshot CVE called “Improving Knowledge and Research Capacity on the Global Incel Community & its Canadian Impact.” This project will increase awareness and understanding of online incel communities and improve the capacity of Canadian front-line practitioners to provide enhanced interventions for individuals who are in the process of radicalizing to violence. In May 2020, Moonshot CVE released their first deliverable, A Guide to Symbols and Terminology, which provides a general introduction to incel terminology, logic, and symbology, in order to help practitioners understand the incel ecosystem.
Results and Progress
As a recently established directorate within the last three years, the Canada Centre through its engagement efforts and the Community Resilience Fund is continuing to build the evidence base and promising practices for CRV in Canada. Given Canada's regional diversity and the complexity of pathways towards radicalization to violence, there is no “one size fits all” approach for effective prevention approaches and interventions. In the coming year, many long-term projects that were launched upon the establishment of the Canada Centre in 2017, will come to a close and provide summary reports and findings. Links to these reports and key findings will be available on the Public Safety website, and will inform CRV efforts at the local, provincial and territorial, and federal level.
The Canada Centre will continue to integrate gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) in all efforts and support projects that integrate a thorough consideration of gender, diversity, and the role of women. Additionally, the Canada Centre will continue to track progress as it relates to addressing ideologically-motivated violent extremism including violent misogyny.
In 2019-20 the Serious and Organized Crime Division within Public Safety continued to incorporate gender-responsive, trauma-informed and culturally relevant approaches in response to human trafficking domestically and internationally:
- In 2019-2020, Public Safety Canada provided $125,000 to Clan Mothers Turtle Lodge Inc., a non-profit charity. The funding supported the National Healing Gathering Initiative for the Support of Survivors of Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking. The program built on the success of the Clan Mothers’ promising practices and longstanding experiences using Indigenous models and methodologies of healing to support women who have experienced gender-based violence and trauma through sexual exploitation and human trafficking. This was the first national project to incorporate Indigenous, provincial and federal resources to prevent human trafficking and sexual exploitation through support for survivors.
- The program completed activities in Kelowna, British Columbia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. The gatherings honored persons with lived experiences of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, and acknowledged their strength and resiliency. In September 2020, Clan Mothers launched a website and e-book celebrating the knowledge, solutions and leadership of persons with lived experiences of these crimes.
The Federal Budget 2018 announced funding to support a National Human Trafficking Hotline, which was launched in May 2019. The Hotline is a multilingual, 24/7, toll-free service that receives tips and refers victims and survivors of all forms of human trafficking to local law enforcement, emergency shelters, and other trauma-informed services and supports. Data collected through the Hotline also assists law enforcement to improve their intelligence of this crime helps Canada to better understand gaps in services for victims and survivors.
Informed by the horizontal evaluation and 2018 consultations, in September 2019 the Government of Canada launched the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (National Strategy), which brings together federal efforts under one strategic framework. Public Safety, as Canada’s policy lead on anti-human trafficking efforts, oversees the implementation of the National Strategy in partnership and coordination with other federal partners. The National Strategy is supported by an investment of $57.22 million over five years and $10.28 million ongoing. Key activities include: increased public awareness through a national public awareness campaign, the development of a centralized website with key information on human trafficking, new contribution funding for projects for at-risk populations, and improved domestic and international partnerships to bolster the collective response to this crime.
To support the National Strategy, the Minister of Public Safety appointed Shirley Cuillierrier as Special Advisor to Combat Human Trafficking. The Special Advisor provides advice and recommendations to the Government of Canada on anti-human trafficking efforts and raises awareness on the issue both domestically and internationally.
Public Safety continues to coordinate with federal partners on Canada’s response to human trafficking. Through the federal Human Trafficking Taskforce (HTT), Public Safety works with federal departments to implement, coordinate, and manage efforts to address human trafficking in Canada and abroad. The HTT is comprised of departments and agencies that address human trafficking from different aspects of the crime, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Policy, Canadian Border Service Agency, Department of National Defence, Department of Justice, Women and Gender Equality and Global Affairs Canada.
Public Safety also supports Global Affairs Canada’s anti-human trafficking efforts abroad. These efforts include international assistance policies that tackle the root causes of gender-based violence, and capacity-building projects that prevent and respond to threats from international criminal activities, including human trafficking. Public Safety will continue to strengthen international engagement with partners to end human trafficking through respect for the rule of law and international protocols, advocacy for human rights and gender mainstreaming, and participation in key international fora.
Results and Progress:
As the federal lead on Canada’s response to human trafficking, Public Safety has continued to incorporate WPS priorities into its responses to human trafficking. Similar to the WPS Action Plan, Prevention is a key pillar of the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking’s strategic framework.
The National Strategy will continue to adapt to emerging opportunities, trends and challenges. As the National Strategy evolves in response to the changing threat of human trafficking, Public Safety continues to coordinate and work collaboratively with provincial/territorial and international partners. Furthermore, the National Strategy recognizes the importance of GBA+ analysis and promotes victim-centered, trauma-informed, culturally-relevant and gender responsive responses to human trafficking.
Public Safety is in the process of establishing a survivor-led advisory committee, comprised of victims and survivors of human trafficking. This committee will allow individuals with lived experiences to make recommendations to the Government of Canada and inform federal anti-human trafficking policies and initiatives.
Upcoming initiatives to prevent and protect individuals from human trafficking include increasing awareness through public outreach and stakeholder engagement; enhancing funding for trauma-informed, gender-responsive, and culturally-relevant anti-human trafficking projects; building capacity to prevent human trafficking; and improving national and international coordination and cooperation to address this crime.
The National Strategy also supports other Government of Canada priorities and strategies to advance gender equality and benefit marginalized and vulnerable groups, including Indigenous women and girls. The National Strategy is responsive to the Calls for Justice in Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, as human trafficking and sexual exploitation have been strongly linked to the disproportionately high rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls.
Correctional Service of Canada
Correctional Service of Canada’s international activities which contribute to Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security are as follows:
- Pre-Deployment training: Pre-Deployment training is regularly held with the UN Department of Peace Operations and is offered to an international group of corrections officers selected for deployment to a UN peace operation. Since 2014, these sessions have included Canadian facilitators during which CSC strives for gender-parity and representation. Sessions covered in the training include, among others, the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (Bangkok Rules), and a session specifically devoted to the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (which acknowledges the importance of the involvement of women within peace and security initiatives to ensure sustainability and stability).
- Gender Responsive Training (GRT): CSC developed and is leading the delivery of an international women-centered training entitled "Effective Practices for Gender Responsive Treatment of Women Prisoners", which incorporates the UN Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures for Women Offenders (Bangkok Rules) and the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules). In October 2019, CSC deployed two women facilitators to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in Bangui, Central African Republic to deliver the GRT. The training empowers corrections personnel to effectively intervene with women prisoners in post-conflict/fragile areas where women are a vulnerable group. The CSC facilitators provided the three-day training to a group of 25 staff, including eight women, from the Central African Republic Administration pénitentiaire and one member of MINUSCA.
- In February 2020, CSC facilitators returned to MINUSCA to deliver the Training of Trainers version of the training to further develop local capacity. CSC staff co-facilitated the training to a gender-neutral group comprised of 10 staff from the Central African Republic penitentiary service.
Results and Progress:
CSC has continued to play a contributory role in the provision of WPS-related priorities through its participation in the Group of Friends of Corrections in Peace Operations (GoF). The GoF is a forum for the provision of political, technical, and personnel support to corrections work in United Nations (UN) peace operations.
Specifically, the GoF aims to strengthen the strategic role of corrections in regards to mandates and resource allocation of UN peace operations, support critical activities for the re-establishment and strengthening of prison services in host countries of UN peace operations, promote the deployment of high-caliber corrections experts, and facilitate the exchange of good practices among international corrections experts on addressing challenges in conflict and post-conflict settings. Canada (as represented by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)) has been a member of the GoF since 2011, and held Chair responsibilities from 2015 to early 2018.
Shared priorities with WPS include:
- Promoting the importance of women correctional officers in peace operations activities
- Increasing awareness of gender issues and human rights for prisoners
- Promoting the inclusion of women within leadership/management positions in correctional organizations
CSC continues to lead the provision of correctional training initiatives to further gender-responsivity and leadership and management for women. Striving for gender-balance among participants and the facilitator cadre is a central component in all training delivery models.
Results further to the completed training activities include the following:
- Forty-eight international correctional officers received training during the two United Nations Prison and Probation Officer courses in which CSC participated.
- Twenty-five staff from the Central African Republic penitentiary service and one member of MINUSCA participated in the GRT hosted by CSC in Bangui. The training cultivated awareness of women prisoners' unique needs, and enhanced the capacity of participants to manage the women prisoner population more effectively.
- Six of the twelve participants of the Training of Trainers were certified to deliver the GRT in partnership with an established trainer. The training provided an opportunity for participants to facilitate in a classroom setting and receive feedback to support them in their future facilitator role. Participants were able to challenge culturally established gender roles.
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