According to Bennett (1994), domestic issues are those problems taking place in a country, such as human trafficking in Canada. Human trafficking is a form of slavery that involves the recruitment of individuals with the aim of sexually exploiting them. In Canada, sex trafficking has been considered a serious domestic issue in which vulnerable individuals are greatly affected. Children and women in Canada are in most cases the victims of sex trafficking (Kara, 2009). This domestic issue is enhanced by factors such as lack of education, unemployment, high levels of poverty, gender-based inequality, and inadequate social programs within the country. It has been the role of the Canadian federal government to deal with domestic sex trafficking (Kara, 2009). The Canadian federal government is comprised of the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches in which various domestic issues are solved successfully. This discussion will be based on the roles of the Canadian federal government’s legislative, executive, and the judicial branches in addressing sex trafficking within the borders and how they differ from those in the United States.
The Canadian legislative branch is concerned with making and amending laws as its main role within the federal government. The legislative branch of the Canadian federal government made the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court which was interpreted by the judiciary and enforced in July 2000 by the executive to declare sexual slavery as a criminal offence (Kara, 2009). This has ensured that any individual, who is found to participate in sex trafficking, is criminalized. The legislative branch of the Canadian government amended the Criminal Code of Canada in 2005 and this was against human trafficking offences (Kara, 2009). After the amendment the judiciary approves the law after which it is enforced by the executive. In 2010, the legislative Act, Bill C-268 amended the Criminal Code of Canada that introduced a compulsory minimum prison terms of five years for those criminals who trafficked minors and a minimum of prison terms of six years for cases that involved aggravated offences which received a Royal Assent by the Canadian Governor General (Zheng, 2010).
In the United States, the legislation branch enacted the Public Law 106-386 in 2000 which involved terrible punishments that included life imprisonment and unfriendly economic sanctions if an individual is convicted of participating in trafficking enterprises in the United States (Kara, 2009). This is different from Canada because in Canada the convicted individuals are usually imprisoned for a five years prison terms when involved with trafficking the minor and six years prison terms when convicted of aggravated offences associated with sex trafficking. In both countries, the lawmakers have the authority to make effective and efficient anti-trafficking legislation as well as to represent the values that go against the abuses which are associated with sex trafficking or commercial sex (Zheng, 2010). It is the responsibility of every individual to contribute towards preventing sex trafficking and the associated abuses. In the United States, Laws and policies, activism and partnerships are fundamental to the battle against sex trafficking and influence how people make decisions about bringing sex trafficking to an end (Kara, 2009).
It has been seen that the three branches of the Canadian federal government must actively participate to address various domestic issues such sex trafficking and the associated abuses. The legislative branch is involved with making and amending the appropriate laws which must be approved by the judicial branch before they are carried on by the executive branch. If an individual is convicted of involving the minors in sex trafficking, they are imprisoned for a minimum prison term of five years in a federal prison and a minimum prison term of six years if they involved in more aggravated abuses associated with trafficking of persons. This has been seen to differ slightly from the U.S in which those individuals who are convicted of sex trafficking are usually put to life imprisonment and unfriendly economic sanctions in case they are convicted of participating in sex trafficking enterprises.