Human Trafficking

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Human trafficking is often understood as the actions that take place when human beings are bought and sold for different purposes, including but not limited to, sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, and forced marriage. Human trafficking involves the recruiting, transporting, receiving, holding, concealing or exercising control over the movements of a person. Human trafficking occurs throughout a wide spectrum where traffickers exploit a human being for personal or financial benefits. Traffickers will use force, the threat of force and other forms of coercion to gain control over others. Traffickers may use this control to have people engage in illegal activity compromising their safety and wellbeing. It’s crucial to understand human trafficking is always involuntary, because consent cannot be freely given through coercion, deception and manipulation.

Domestic Exploitation

Domestic trafficking occurs when the entirety of the exploitation occurs within a country’s borders and no international border is crossed. Human trafficking occurs domestically within Canada. In recent years, the province of Ontario has had the highest number of police-reported human trafficking incidents in Canada. The vast majority of victims are woman and girls, and most victims are trafficked by someone they know. Many factors contribute to a person’s vulnerability to exploitation, however due to systemic oppression and other factors, some populations are disproportionately represented among those domestically trafficked in Canada, such as indigenous communities and people of colour. However, human trafficking can happen to anyone of any age, gender, race, religion, location and socio-economic status.

International Exploitation

International trafficking occurs when traffickers facilitate or force a citizen of one country to cross an international border into another country for the purpose of exploitation. Citizens of other countries are transported to Canada for this purpose. As in domestic occurrences, the international traffickers can be known to the victim including family, friends, acquaintances or co-workers. Traffickers can also pose as employment recruiters luring people across borders with the promise of a better life. Traffickers can work together as a criminal network, or as individuals, operating within Canada and internationally.

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