Who does human trafficking affect?
From Public Safety Canada
Human traffickers prey on individuals who may be in challenging situations. This could be someone who is not in contact with their family, struggling with their identity, a survivor of abuse, or someone in desperate need of work or money. Whatever the reason, victims are often unaware that they’re even being groomed as traffickers are often expert manipulators.
If you or someone you know is a victim or survivor of sex or labour trafficking, get help now.
Commonly Targeted Groups
While people of all ages and genders can be targeted by human trafficking, most police-reported incidents in Canada, have involved young women and girls.
Who is Most at Risk of Being Trafficked?
Many factors are at play, but traffickers most often tend to target people who are:
- Have suffered abuse and violence
- Indigenous or from racialized communities
- Living with disabilities
- Migrants or new immigrants
- Struggling with money
- In foster care
- Unaware of their rights
- Working in remote areas
- Isolated from social supports
- Struggling with the dominant language
Terrible Conditions and Lifelong Harm
Human trafficking can cause lasting physical and psychological harm. Victims of human trafficking may experience:
- Unsafe living and working conditions
- Physical, sexual, financial, and psychological abuse and injury
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Drug addiction and its related issues
- Serious emotional trauma
Spotting human trafficking close to home
How to respond if you think someone you know is being trafficked.
What to do if you think you’re being targeted or exploited.
Stories of human trafficking
Sabrina was 18 years old and had already spent five years in a relationship with her boyfriend who frequently assaulted her and controlled her phone. He threatened her with violence to get her to provide sexual services to clients in hotels and to hand over all of her earnings to him.
Daniel was 35 years old when he was offered a job online, working at a restaurant in Canada. He left his home country with high hopes, but when he arrived, he was forced to work 18 hour days with little to no pay. When he objected, his boss threatened to call the police and have him deported if he didn’t do what they wanted.
After ongoing conflict with her mom, Jesse left home to stay with friends. Shortly after, she befriended a young couple and decided to move in with them. The couple gave her drugs and alcohol until they had full control over her. Then they took her to different cities to provide sexual services to strangers under threat of physical assault.
Download resources to learn more about human trafficking.
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