Liu Institute Faculty Fellow Benjamin Perrin is one of the inaugural recipients of the “Glendene and Jessie Foster Award” for his outstanding work and dedication to combat human trafficking. The award was created by Walk With Me, a non-governmental organization based in Toronto and founded by a human trafficking survivor to help others trapped in exploitation.
"In my eyes as a survivor of human trafficking and advocate, Benjamin Perrin is a hero,” said Timea Nagy, Executive Director of Walk With Me.
Benjamin Perrin, Assistant Professor in the UBC Faculty of Law, was honoured with the award at a ceremony on April 15 in Toronto, along with police officers and professionals who have helped protect trafficking victims and prosecute their traffickers. The award is named in honour of Jessie Foster, a missing Canadian who is believed to have been trafficked into the United States for sexual exploitation, and her mother, Glendene Grant.
“Mr. Perrin’s devotion, passion and his outstanding work is one of the reasons why I am confident that Canada will take the necessarily measures to fight this horrific crime,” said Ms. Nagy. “He is the only person who will keep knocking on the doors until they open up, and when he talks, people in power have no choice but to listen, and take action.”
“It is a tremendous honour to be recognized by a courageous survivor of human trafficking who is now a powerful advocate for change,” said Professor Perrin. “Over a decade working on this issue, I continue to be inspired by the hope that I find in survivors like Timea Nagy.”
Professor Perrin is recognized as one of Canada’s leading experts on human trafficking. His work has led to significant improvements in Canada’s response to human trafficking, including:
- Creation of temporary residence permits and access to emergency counselling and health care for foreign trafficking victims;
- Adoption by the House of Commons of amendments to the Criminal Code that would enact tougher sentences for convicted child traffickers in Canada; and
- Completion of a national study on the problem to be released in October 2010.
In 2009, Professor Perrin was recognized by the U.S. State Department as a “hero in the fight against modern-day slavery”. His first book, Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking, will be published by Penguin Group (Canada) in October 2010. The book will be released as part of a national public awareness raising campaign.
To learn more about Professor Perrin, including his research and advocacy, visit his website: http://www.law.ubc.ca/faculty/Perrin/web/index.html