Human Trafficking

What is Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking

From Public Safety Canada

Human trafficking doesn't have to involve shipping containers or crossing borders, it's happening in communities across Canada.

Human trafficking involves recruiting, transporting, or holding victims to exploit them or to help someone else exploit them, generally for sexual purposes or work. Traffickers get their victims to comply through different forms of coercion.


Are you or is someone you know being trafficked?

If you think you or someone you know may be a victim of human trafficking.
Get help now.

A message from Minister Blair on #WorldDayAgainstTraffickingInPersons


Video length: 2 minutes and 50 seconds.

Hello everyone, I'm Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

And I am recording this message today from my home which is in the traditional territory of the Mississauga of the Credit.

July 30th is the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

This important day was first proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014.

It's an opportunity to raise awareness of human trafficking – a terrible crime which has devastating consequences that

disproportionately affects the most vulnerable people in our society, especially women, girls and Indigenous people.

It also calls upon us to do more to prevent human trafficking, and to support the victims and survivors.

This year's theme is Victims' Voices Lead the Way.

It puts victims at the centre of the campaign, and it highlights the importance of listening to,

and learning from, the survivors of human trafficking.

This is very much in line with the Government of Canada's efforts.

We are committed to ending human trafficking in all of its forms, including sexual exploitation and forced labour.

We are also committed to prevention, to bringing perpetrators to justice, and to protecting and supporting victims and survivors.

In September of 2019, we launched the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking.

It brings together all federal efforts under one strategic framework.

As part of the National Strategy, Canada has gone beyond the internationally recognized four-pillar framework of prevention,

protection, prosecution and partnership.

We have added a new pillar of "empowerment" to emphasize the importance and the ongoing role of survivors.

Our National Strategy is backed by an investment of $57 million over five years, and $10 million ongoing.

And it builds on a previous investment of $14.5 million over five years,

and $2.89 million ongoing, to create the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline.

The Hotline is a toll-free number that provides 24/7 referral services in a variety of languages.

And to get help, anyone can safely call the hotline at 1-833-900-1010 to connect with local law enforcement,

shelter and a range of other supports and services.

To coincide with the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, we're also running an advertising campaign

to raise awareness of this issue in Canada.

The campaign aims to help people recognize the warning signs, and to share information on how to report suspected cases.

In marking this day, I want to thank everyone across Canada who's doing the hard work necessary to address this important issue.

And I also have an important message to share: if you are a victim of human trafficking, or if you suspect that someone you know could be,

I urge you to call 9-1-1, or your local police, or the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline.

Thank you very much.

Canada wordmark.

Can You Recognize Different Forms of Human Trafficking?

Sex Trafficking

Sex Trafficking

Learn more about sex trafficking.

Labour Trafficking

Labour Trafficking

Learn more about labour trafficking.

Human Trafficking: It's Not What It Seems


Video length: 90 seconds.

A shipping container in the middle of a shipping yard at night is illuminated by the headlights of a van.

Metallic knocking.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Human trafficking isn't what you think it is.

Door hinges creak.

Door hinges creak as a man opens the shipping container.

The camera moves inside of the pitch-black shipping container.

Inside is a man and a young woman standing in a room. The man opens the curtains.

MUSIC STARTS: Billie Eilish's “When the party's over”.

♪ Billie Eilish's "When the party's over" ♪


Quick shots of the man and young woman going on dates and partying.

The man and young woman walk down the street in each other's arms.

The man caresses the young woman's face.

A text message reads: She's beautiful

Quick shots of the man and young woman looking at each other, kissing and cuddling.

The man drapes a necklace on the young woman as she looks in the mirror.

Quick shots of the man and young woman kissing and laughing together.

The young woman sits in the dark as the man consoles her.

The man finishes clasping a necklace on the young woman. He squeezes her shoulders.

The young woman stares back at the man uncomfortably.

The man and young woman argue. He yells at her on the street and in a car.

The couple sit on a bed as he strokes her arm.

A text message reads: You'll love her

The young woman strokes her necklace.

The man stands up from the kitchen table, slamming a plate as he yells at her. He pushes her against a wall.

The young woman looks at him affectionately.

Quick shots of them fighting in a car and in the kitchen.

Quick shots of the young woman consoling the man in the bedroom, the kitchen and a car.

The man rubs the young woman's shoulder. She looks uncomfortable and looks at her reflection.

Quick shots of the young woman sitting alone and scared in different rooms.

The man talks on his phone while the woman cries.

The man types a text message that reads: She's all yours.

The couple lie in bed. He kisses her cheek while holding her neck as she stares frightened at the ceiling.

A text message reads: Bring cash $$$.

The front door creaks open.

The man and woman turn their faces towards the door.

An unidentifiable man steps through adarkened doorway.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Almost 1/3 of victims in Canada were trafficked by a current or former intimate partner.

TEXT ON SCREEN: Get the facts. Know the signs. Report it.

A message from the government of Canada.

Canada wordmark.

Human Trafficking Can Be Hard to See

In this modern-day form of slavery, traffickers can maintain control over a victim in many different ways. It might be physical or psychological, through manipulation, threats, and the abuse of trust and power.

Victims may be trafficked by someone they know: a former or current partner, family member, friend, co-worker, or boss.

Better understanding the facts about human trafficking, who is at risk, how traffickers recruit and exploit victims, and what signs to look for is a major step in helping to fight this widespread and often invisible crime.

Learn more about the Facts and Myths of human trafficking.

Possible Signs of Human Trafficking

Do you or someone you know:

Sex Trafficking

Sex Trafficking
  • Have a new relationship with someone older or richer, perhaps online? Does the new relationship seem to involve manipulation and control?
  • Receive gifts or cash from a partner for no reason?
  • Seem to be in a relationship that has taken a sudden negative turn?
  • Have intimate images of you been shared by someone online with/ without your consent?
  • Feel intimidated or controlled? Traffickers often control their victim's phone for example, where they go, who they see and can withhold personal identification.
  • Live and/or work in brutal conditions?

  • Recognize the signs and learn more about sex trafficking.

Labour Trafficking

Labour Trafficking
  • Have a job offer that seems too good to be true?
  • Have an employer who makes threats of deportation or reporting immigration status to police?
  • Have an employer that withholds personal identification?
  • Feel their life or those they love could be in danger if they don't work long hours and/or accept a lower wage?
  • Have to relocate for work with few details and no payment up front?
  • Live and/or work in brutal conditions?

  • Recognize the signs and learn more about labour trafficking.
Are you or is someone you know being trafficked?

If you answered yes to one or more questions, you or someone you know may be at risk of being trafficked.

Get help now.

Who's at Risk?

Anyone, from any walk of life, can be a target for human trafficking for the purposes of sex trafficking or labour trafficking. However, in Canada, women and girls are at greatest risk, as well as individuals from certain populations, such as Indigenous women and girls, new immigrants, children in the child welfare system, persons living with disabilities, LGBTQ2 persons, and those struggling socially and/or financially.

In addition, migrant workers may be at higher-risk of exploitation and abuse due to language barriers, working in isolated/remote areas, lacking access to services and support, and/or correct information about their legal rights.

According to police-reported incidents of human trafficking:

97% of victims of human trafficking were women and girls.

97% of victims of human trafficking were women and girls Footnote1.

Over 2/3 of reported human trafficking incidences between 2009-2019 were reported in Ontario.

Over 2/3 of human trafficking incidents between 2009-2019 were reported in Ontario Footnote2.

45% of all victims of human trafficking were between the ages of 18 and 24.

45% of all victims of human trafficking were between the ages of 18 and 24 Footnote3.

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