In section: Solidarity-Justice

Sexual Tourism at the Formula 1 Grand Prix

Montreal, Wednesday, June 3, 2015 – CATHII took part in a press conference organized by CLES, a press conference using the theme “ Un trop Grand Prix pour les femmes. No to sexual tourism “ so as to denounce sexual exploitation and the recruitment of girls and women for prostitution during the Formula 1 Grand Prix. 
The Action Committee against internal and international human trafficking (CATHII) as well as the Collective to aid women who are sexually exploited (CAFES) and the Movement against rape and incest (MCVI) equally spoke out during the press conference. Each group shared briefly on their expertise, their observations and their deep concern regarding the impact of the Montreal Grand Prix especially on women in prostitution and on the social relationships of sex in general. 

Message from CATHII: Today we join our voice to those of the CLES (KEY), the HELOC, the CAFES CAFLA and to denounce the indifference of the authorities towards people exploited during major sporting events like the Grand Prix of Montreal

Human trafficking at major sporting events is increasingly denounced worldwide as outlined in the Trafficking in Persons Report (US, 2014).  The Montreal Grand Prix is no exception.  It is observed that during the Grand Prix there is an increase in trafficking, especially of women, both for sexual exploitation and for forced labor in the tourism industry. 


It is clear that the authorities, be it the city of Montreal or the Quebec government, turn a blind eye to the exploitation during the days the Formula 1 events and race are in the city.  In recent years, CATHII has organized several activities to educate the public and the authorities regarding an increase in the exploitation of people in these tourism-related events.  In 2012 and 2013, MATM (Montreal Anti-Trafficking Movement) contacted the main hotels of Montreal to raise awareness of trafficking.  Last year, CATHII organized a silent circle in the entertainment district of Montreal.  This year, we will release a door hanger inviting tourists to denounce the exploitative situations in hotels, bars, restaurants ... And to complain.  We want the authorities to act.

Human trafficking is a complex phenomenon, encompassing internal and international migration issues.

Montreal Skyline - Tourism Montreal

The Action Committee against internal and international human trafficking (CATHII) has been working since 2004 to counter trafficking in persons, whether for sexual exploitation or forced labor.  CATHII implemented the creation of the Quebec Coalition against Trafficking in Persons which includes more than 25 organizations working with victims of trafficking. 

The press conference will also be an occasion to launch action aimed at sensitizing the Mayor of Montreal as well as Tourism Montreal to the human and social costs of the events which they are promoting. In fact, despite a clear electoral commitment on the part of Mayor Coderre to fight against sexual exploitation, despite municipal and provincial policies on equality acknowledging prostitution as a form of violence against women and in spite of the new Canadian Law criminalizing the buying and selling of sexual services, this lack of political willingness and resources granted to the fight against sexual exploitation is appalling.

This situation is especially intolerable in the parameter of events promoted by the City and which we know to be times of intensity for the sex industry, for internal and international human trafficking and for sexual tourism...

Supported by:
Centre d’aide aux familles latino-américaines (CAFLA)
Regroupement québécois des Centres d’aide et de luttes aux agressions à caractère sexuelle (RQCALACS)
Confederation of National Trades Union (CSN)
Montreal Women’s Y (YWCA)

*  translated in English from

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