From Public Safety Canada
Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking that involves recruiting, moving, or holding victims for sexual exploitation purposes. Sex traffickers can coerce victims into providing sexual services by force or through threats, including mental and emotional abuse and manipulation.
If you or someone you know may be a victim of human trafficking, get help now.
Who’s at risk?
Anyone can be a victim of sex trafficking. Traffickers often target people who may be at odds with or separated from their families, in need of work, desperate for money, or survivors of abuse. Based on available government data and resources, in Canada, human trafficking most often affects:
Women and girls
Police-reported incidents of human trafficking show that 96% of victims are women and girls.Footnote1
Youth and young adults
Police-reported incidents of human trafficking show that 24% of victims are girls under the age of 18, and 45% are women aged 18-24.Footnote2
The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls highlights the connection between trafficking for sexual exploitation and violence against Indigenous women and girls. The combination of social and economic issues resulting from colonialism make Indigenous women and girls more at risk of human trafficking.Footnote3
Possible signs of sex trafficking
Do you or someone you know:
- Have a new relationship with someone controlling, perhaps online?
- Receive excessive 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 that have been shared by someone online with/without consent?
- Feel intimidated or controlled? For example, is somebody controlling their phone, ID, or movements.
- Live and/or work in unhealthy, unsafe conditions?
If you said yes to one or more questions, you or someone you know may be at risk of being trafficked.
Get help now
How traffickers take control of victims
Learn what motivates traffickers, how they recruit and maintain control of victims, and what warning signs to look for.
Who human trafficking affects
While anybody can be a victim, learn why some people are at higher risk.
Other forms of human trafficking
Learn more about labour trafficking.
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