David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, has awarded UBC Law Associate Professor Benjamin Perrin the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his significant contributions to Canada. Professor Perrin was nominated by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy for his work at the forefront of the human trafficking issue as a driving force for important legislative changes and policy improvements. The nomination also highlighted the impact and importance of Professor Perrin's book Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking (Viking Canada, 2010; Penguin Canada, 2011), which was named one of the top books of the year by the Globe and Mail.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a new commemorative medal that was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians. The Chancellery of Honours, as part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, administers the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal program.
In 2010, Professor Perrin launched a a seven-city awareness campaign about human trafficking running from October 5 to 27, 2010, across the country. The campaign also has an online component with a new interactive website. The campaign also coincided with the publication of Professor Perrin’s book, Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking (Viking Canada). The book is a shocking expose and impassioned call to action based on an extensive three-year investigation into the problem.
With the support of the Maytree Foundation and UBC’s Liu Institute for Global Issues, the campaign’s website was launched at: www.endmoderndayslavery.ca. The site offers information about human trafficking, details about Professor Perrin's publications, and events across the country taking place to raise awareness about the problem and support local organizations that assist victims.
“Human trafficking is an insidious form of modern-day slavery in our communities,” said Professor Perrin, who was honoured in 2009 as a “hero” acting to end human trafficking by the U.S. State Department in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report.
Professor Perrin is the only Canadian to receive the honour to date.
Professor Perrin was also awarded a $15,000 research grant from Metropolis B.C. to support a study to better understand the role of British Columbia as a transit point for human trafficking involving foreign nationals. This research project is entitled “Just Passing Through? Trafficked Persons Transited Through B.C.”
Professor Perrin is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law and a Senior Fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute for Public Policy. Professor Perrin's principal teaching and research interests are Canadian Criminal Law and International Criminal Law.
Professor Perrin served as Special Advisor, Legal Affairs and Policy in the Office of the Prime Minister. In addition to acting as legal counsel, he was lead policy advisor on all matters related to the Department of Justice, Public Safety Canada (including the RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Correctional Service of Canada, and Parole Board of Canada), and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.