What is Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking is defined as recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing or harbouring a person, or exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, to exploit them or to assist in facilitating their exploitation (sections 279.01 and 279.011 of the Canadian Criminal Code). Victims of Human Trafficking are exploited generally for sexual purposes (Sex Trafficking) or for work (Labour Trafficking). Coercion is how Human Traffickers gain and maintain control over victims. Victims suffer physical or emotional abuse and often live and work in horrific conditions. This crime represents a consistent and pervasive assault on the fundamental human rights of its victims.

Signs of Potential Human Trafficking :

  • Job offers, especially from unknown companies or individuals that include pay, accommodation, food, and other "perks," should be questioned and thoroughly researched. These can often be human and sex trafficking recruitment and exploitation.
  • A new friend or significant other making false promises about money, new clothes, work or education opportunities, financial aid for their family, etc.

Human traffickers will exploit a person's vulnerabilities through physical, sexual, financial, emotional, and psychological means.

Who is at risk?

Anyone can experience human trafficking. It is important to understand that someone's social identity (gender, age, race, sexuality, disability, etc.) may influence their vulnerability because of systems of oppression such as racism, ableism, transphobia, etc.

The Government of Canada notes that people who are separated from family, unemployed and in financial need, or abuse survivors may be more vulnerable. Additionally, in Canada, data shows that women and girls, young adults and youth, and Indigenous people are overrepresented as victims of sex trafficking.

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Resources for Victims and Survivors of Human Trafficking

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