Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Catherine J. Corrigall-Brown


This thesis examines the Preventing the Trafficking, Abuse, and Exploitation of Vulnerable Immigrants Act. The history of human trafficking and migrant policy in Canada generally and in relation to this amendment passed in 2012 are examined. The framing perspective, political process model, and the policy process literature are used to understand this law. I am interested in three main questions: does the Act differentiate between victims and criminals?; how did socio-political groups shape this law?; and how do the media portray the differences in victims and criminals in relation to this law? Content analysis is used to analyze the Act itself, relevant press releases and media coverage. The policy is found to have a victim-centered focus, and portrayals of human trafficking victims and criminals are shaped by heteronormative ideas. This study concludes that the Act under review may not be successful in protecting foreign nationals from exploitation.

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