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Sports Sexual exploitation allegations tar Montreal Grand Prix's reputation: CEO

15:31  22 january  2020
15:31  22 january  2020 Source:   montrealgazette.com

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Videos Sign In Sign Out. Subscribe. Sexual exploitation allegations tar Montreal Grand Prix ' s reputation : CEO . "It is a subject I am aware of, a "For too long the Grand Prix of Canada has been perceived as a non-involved witness to a deplorable situation or even a supporter, by association, of

UN Protocol on Allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse involving Implementing Partners: The UN Protocol on Allegations of SEA involving Implementing Partners outlines requirements of the United Nations, including its funds and programmes (collectively, the “UN”), when working with

a man wearing a suit and tie sitting at a table© John Mahoney

The head of Montreal’s Formula One Grand Prix says the event’s reputation has been tarred by businesses who borrow the event’s name to host sex-related events.

François Dumontier made the comments on Tuesday while appearing before the Quebec government’s commission into the sexual exploitation of minors.

People involved in protecting minors in the Montreal area have alleged in recent years that when the Formula One race arrives in June there is a noticeable increase in girls residing in youth centres who are recruited to work in the sex trade. The event has also been criticized in the past as being a draw for sexual tourism. Dumontier told the commission that if those allegations are true, it is because of events outside his organization’s control.

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“It is a subject I am aware of, a reality that disturbs me and you can believe in my will to support your commission,” Dumontier said in his opening statement to the MNAs on the panel that heard positions from several groups in Montreal on Monday and Tuesday.

He criticized some media for having gone “overboard” in the past by tying the Grand Prix to questionable events promoted by places like Montreal strip bars that used the race’s name without its permission.

“We are aware of several events that are held during Grand Prix weekend and, generally, we hear about them in different forms through traditional media. I want to say these events had a negative effect on our organization and our event and they often go against the values we promote,” Dumontier said, while adding Formula One has evolved in recent years. For example, it has dropped the traditional “Grid Girl” parade, where female models were paraded on the race track before races, he said. That tradition has been replaced by having children involved in kart racing accompany F1 racers on the track.

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In the wake of the Oxfam scandal, the Guardian interviewed aid workers who all said that sexual exploitation is rife in the sector.

Montreal ’ s F1 race has earned the reputation of turning the city into a hotbed for sexual exploitation and human trafficking, but some argue it’ s a myth that Michel Bourque, who also heads the provincial exploitation task force, said he doesn’t have a scientific answer to give as to why the Grand Prix is

“For too long the Grand Prix of Canada has been perceived as a non-involved witness to a deplorable situation or even a supporter, by association, of the sexual exploitation of adults or minors. We have decided to act.” Dumontier said it first approached the city of Montreal about dealing with the situation when Denis Coderre was mayor. He said communication has continued since Valérie Plante replaced Coderre. He then provided a long list of groups he has met with in recent years, including the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking and several who also presented positions while appearing before the commission this week.

But he was blunt when he answered a question the commission sent to him before he appeared. It asked what percentage of the Grand Prix’s budget is devoted to the prevention of sexual exploitation.

“To this question the answer is simple. With the exception of the time devoted to the actions I previously described, no part of our actual operations budget is dedicated to the fight against sexual exploitation,” he said.

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When it comes to retail space, Montreal is in a peculiar situation, notes Michel Leblanc, president of the Board of Trade of Greater Montreal . Sexual exploitation allegations tar Montreal Grand Prix ' s reputation : CEO .

Sexual exploitation and abuse in humanitarian response first came to public attention with the release of a report in February 2002 of a joint assessment mission examining the issue. The joint mission (composed of UNHCR-SCFUK personnel) reported that "refugee children in Guinea

“Our principal activity is a car race that takes place on a closed circuit on Île-Notre-Dame. We organize only one event downtown on the Thursday (before the race). There are people who profit from the presence of the Montreal Grand Prix and, unfortunately, we don’t know about it. We hear about it after the fact through the media or on social media and often not during Grand Prix week. And we are trying to protect our image. We send out things like legal notices.”

When Dumontier was asked by a reporter if he has ever been shown concrete evidence that the Grand Prix draws sexual tourism, he said some of the groups he met with in recent years have expressed doubt it is a reality.

In 2017, the Montreal police carried out a sting operation where they used an internet site to try to lure men willing to pay to have sex with minors during Grand Prix weekend. They arrested 17 men and only one was from outside the Greater Montreal area. At the same time, people involved in Project Mobilis, which involved the Longueuil police and people who worked in youth centres, have said in the past there was clear evidence that pimps were recruiting minors from such centres whenever the Grand Prix would roll into town.

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Allegation : SE = Sexual exploitation , SA = Sexual abuse. Investigation: OIOS = Office of Internal Oversight Services, TCC = troop-contributing country, PCC = police-contributing country, NIO = National investigation officer . Investigation (days): who is the investigating entity and for completed

e- ALLEGATIONS . You are entering an Official United States Government System, which may be used only for authorized purposes. The Government may monitor and audit usage of this system, and all persons are hereby notified that use of this system constitutes consent to such monitoring and auditing.

The commission will move to Val d’Or to hold hearings on Thursday.

pcherry@postmedia.com

Related

Montreal police say alleged pimp may have B.C. victims .
Police say a 24-year-old man arrested in Montreal for the alleged sexual exploitation of a 20-year-old woman may have been operating in British Columbia. Sergei Klenovski appeared in a Montreal courtroom on Tuesday, one day following his arrest, where he was charged with eight offences including human trafficking, procuring, sexual assault, uttering threats and use of a weapon. Investigators with the Montreal Police have reason to believe there are additional victims in British Columbia. Anyone who may have been a victim or knows a potential victim of Sergei Klenovski we ask you to contact police authorities or call 9-1-1. https://t.

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