The Government of Canada's National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking proposes strategies that will better support organizations providing assistance to victims and helps to protect foreign nationals, including young female immigrants who arrive in Canada alone, from being subjected to illegitimate or unsafe work.
Human trafficking or trafficking in persons is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, often described as a modern day form of slavery. Human trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation, harbouring and/ or exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person in order to exploit that person, typically through sexual exploitation or forced labour. The victims, who are mostly women and children, are deprived of their normal lives and compelled to provide their labour or sexual services, through a variety of coercive practices all for the direct profit of their perpetrators. Exploitation often occurs through intimidation, force, sexual assault and threats of violence to themselves or their families.
Human trafficking differs from human smuggling as the latter implies the consent of the person who usually pays large sums of money to be smuggled and is free upon arrival at destination.
Human Trafficking in Canada
Human trafficking is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The extent of human trafficking, either in Canada and internationally, is difficult to assess due to the hidden nature of the crime, the reluctance of victims and witnesses to come forward to law enforcement and the difficulty of identifying victims. We know that men, women and children fall victim to this crime, although women represent the majority of victims in Canada to date. Those who are likely to be at-risk include persons who are socially or economically disadvantaged, such as some Aboriginal women, youth and children, migrants and new immigrants, teenaged runaways, children who are in protection, as well as girls and women, who may be lured to large urban centres or who move or migrate there voluntarily.
If you think someone is a victim of human trafficking, call 9-1-1 or your local police. If you wish to anonymously report a case of trafficking, please call Crime Stoppers National Tipline at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).
Government Response to Human Trafficking
Canada was among the first countries to ratify the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children. Our efforts are guided by this Trafficking Protocol and through a 4 pillar approach seeks to prevent trafficking from occurring, protect victims of human trafficking, bring its perpetrators to justice and build partnerships domestically and internationally.
Building on achievements to date, the Government of Canada has launched a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking which consolidates ongoing efforts of the federal government to combat human trafficking and introduces aggressive new initiatives to prevent human trafficking, identify victims, protect the most vulnerable, and prosecute perpetrators. The National Action Plan aims to better support organizations providing assistance to victims and it builds on our current responses and commitment to work together with our partners to prevent and combat this disturbing crime. It leverages and builds on Canada's international and domestic experience to date and provides aggressive new initiatives in order to address human trafficking in all its forms, including the creation of a new dedicated integrated enforcement team to be led by the RCMP. A Human Trafficking Taskforce, led by Public Safety Canada and comprised of key departments, is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the National Action Plan commitments and for coordinating the federal anti-human trafficking response and reporting annually on progress to the public.
Human Trafficking Legislation
Human Trafficking News Releases
Human Trafficking Publications and Reports
- National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking - 2015-16 Annual Report on Progress
- Canada's Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter - Issue 11
- Canada's Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter - Issue 10
- 2016 National Forum on Human Trafficking - Summary Report
- Canada's Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter - Issue 9
- More Human Trafficking Publications and Reports
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