Prime Minister’s Office hires human trafficking expert

Benjamin Perrin

Benjamin Perrin has returned to the Hill and is now working as a special adviser in legal affairs and policy in the PMO.

Mr. Perrin’s name is likely familiar. In 2010, he published his first book titled Invisible Chains: Canada’s Underground World of Human Trafficking, an exposé on the issue of human trafficking in Canada, which was named one of the best books of 2010 by The Hill Times and one of the top books of the year by The Globe and Mail.

Benjamin Perrin

It’s a subject which Mr. Perrin has a wealth of knowledge. According to The Globe and Mail, Mr. Perrin filed more than 40 access-to-information requests during the course of writing his book and conducted a number of first-hand interviews with insiders. He has testified before a number of Parliamentary committees studying the issue of human trafficking and in 2010, Mr. Perrin proposed amendments to the Criminal Code—submitted as a private member’s bill, Bill C-268, sponsored by Conservative MP Joy Smith—to enact stiffer penalties for child trafficking which were adopted by Parliament, a rare fate for private members’ bills.

Mr. Perrin has a strong legal background in academia. He has a bachelor of commerce from the University of Calgary, a master of law from McGill University, and a juris doctor from the University of Toronto faculty of law.

A former Hillite, as far as Hill Climbers can tell, Mr. Perrin’s first job on the Hill was as a communications intern in then-Reform Party leader Preston Manning’s office as leader of the opposition. It’s not clear when Mr. Perrin started on the Hill, but Mr. Manning was the leader of the official opposition from 1997 to 2000. Following this and while still at school, Mr. Perrin docked a string of internships and summer student positions, including working as a trial chamber intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and as a summer law student at Shell Canada Products Ltd.

Eventually Mr. Perrin made his way back to the Hill to work as a senior policy adviser to then Citizenship and Immigration minister Monte Solberg, but left in August 2006 to spend a year working as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada for Justice Marie Deschamps

In 2007, Mr. Perrin joined the University of British Columbia faculty of law as an assistant professor, covering criminal, immigration and international law. Mr. Perrin has developed strong roots in the world of academia: in addition to teaching law at UBC, Mr. Perrin became a faculty associate at the Liu Institute for Global Issues and at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. 

Mr. Perrin is also a senior fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy and is a member of the law societies of British Columbia and Upper Canada. 

In addition to Invisible Chains, Mr. Perrin served as co-editor of Human Trafficking: Exploring the International Nature, Concerns and Complexities, which was published in December 2011, and as editor of Modern Warfare: Armed Groups, Private Militaries, Humanitarian Organizations and the Law, which was published earlier this month.

On top of these numerous credentials, Mr. Perrin is also the founder and former executive director of The Future Group, a Canadian-based international NGO dedicated to combating human trafficking and the child sex trade, which was founded in 2000.

Original article on Hill Times website (subscription required)