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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                           


Canada has enjoyed solid economic growth, and prudent fiscal management has produced consecutive balanced budgets from 1997 to 2007. In 2008, growth slowed sharply as a result of the global economic downturn, US housing slump, plunging auto sector demand, and a drop in world commodity prices.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Canada

Canada is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Canadian women and girls, many of whom are aboriginal, are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation.

NGOs report that Canada is a destination country for foreign victims trafficked for labor exploitation; some labor victims enter Canada legally but then are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, sweatshops, or as domestic servants.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here or a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Canada.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

Human Trafficking National Coordination Center



Aboriginal women fair game for predators amid public indifference

Jim Bronskill and Sue Bailey, The Brooks Bulletin, Ottawa, 18 Sep 2005

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Untold scores of society's most vulnerable members - young native women - have gone missing across the country only to be forsaken by a jaded justice system and neglectful media. The death and disappearance of aboriginal women has emerged as an alarming nationwide pattern, from western serial murders to little-known Atlantic vanishings. Grim statistics and anecdotal evidence compiled by The Canadian Press suggest public apathy has allowed predators to stalk native victims with near impunity.

Human trafficking in Vancouver

Magda Ibrahim, The Westender, Vancouver, B.C., Sep 20 2007

[accessed 31 August 2011]

Women become trapped in sex trade after being lured to city with false promises.  Imagine being beaten, forced into sex work, and told you’ll be killed if you try to escape. The constant threat of violence means you’re too scared to go to the authorities, but even if you did, there’s little chance of retribution for your attacker.  This might sound like something that would happen in a third-world country, or during some bygone era, but it’s happening now in Vancouver, and is a reality for many victims of human trafficking.

“I can’t understand why Canada hasn’t successfully prosecuted a single person for human trafficking when you look at other countries like the U.S., Australia, and the U.K.,” says Perrin. “We’ve made the same commitments and been to the same conferences, but Canada has been all talk and no action. We’re just beginning to turn the corner; we’re where other countries we consider ourselves in the same league as were 10 years ago. We’ve had a decade of inaction on this and it’s allowed traffickers to profit; we need to make it more risky and less profitable for them.”

Human Trafficking May Be Closer to Home Than We Think

2008-04-21  - Source:

[accessed 27 January 2011]

INTERNATIONAL TRAFFICKING - Coming into Canada from other countries, these victims are often afraid of police authority because their police may be corrupt. This fear is exploited by captors.  Trafficking is often confused with being smuggled into the country, but trafficking is unique because it requires three steps — recruitment, movement and exploitation.  Women often believe they are being smuggled into the country — they want to sneak into Canada, with dreams of a better life here. But soon they learn they have been sold and must now work as slaves.

DOMESTIC TRAFFICKING - Women are first befriended by a recruiter who often becomes their boyfriend and then convinces them move to a new city.  The traffickers will use threats; they may beat or gang rape the person or threaten to kill their family — anything to keep them there.  "They wine them and dine them ... All of a sudden they are moving from one city to another city. Once they get there they are sold and forced to live on the street."


*** ARCHIVES ***

Children for sale: Canada’s youth at the heart of the rising sex trade

Sawyer Bogdan, Global News, 30 November 2020

[accessed 1 December 2020]

“It’s hard as a young person wanting to fit in or to feel loved or even to have the new Gucci bag or to be offered a luxurious lifestyle and get out of the situation that you’re currently in,” she said.

“Whether that be an abusive environment, mental illness, homelessness, or even as simple as wanting to meet up with someone who promised to offer you the world, this is how they choose their next victim to ruin their life.”

New human trafficking national hotline service launched

Dave Battagello, Windsor Star, 29 May 2019

[accessed 30 May 2019]

HOTLINE: 1-833-900-1010 ... WEBSITE:

The Toronto-based Centre To End Human Trafficking has launched a 24-hour national hotline for victims and survivors of human trafficking from anywhere in Canada.

“This hotline will provide critical resources to victims and survivors and will help law enforcement dismantle human trafficking networks across the country,” says Barbara Gosse, CEO for the charitable organization, which is running the hotline — the first of its kind in Canada — around the clock, every day of the year.

Human trafficking is pervasive and largely ignored in Canada

Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun, 11 June 2019

[accessed 12 June 2019]

Predators stalk Indigenous girls aging out of government care at bus depots and airports, Diane Redsky, executive director of Winnipeg’s Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, told the inquiry.

She noted that at the time of her testimony, children aged out of foster care at age 16 in six provinces.

Alaya M. said she was an easy target. At 12, her social worker gave her the option of staying in her community or going to Winnipeg. Alaya chose the big city and two days later was handed a bus ticket.

“That was probably the best $13 or $14 they (the child and family services department) ever spent to get a kid out of their care, not understanding that the effects and the trauma that would be bestowed upon that $13, $14 bus ticket.”

Right off the bus, an Italian man befriended her, took her for a ride, raped her, handed her $5 and bought her a cup of coffee. She’d never had sex before and didn’t know what a condom was.

Other witnesses talked about pimps recruiting Inuit girls at airports and outside group homes, youth detention centres and schools.

Most became victims out of necessity. They had no family to support them and no one else to turn to when they needed money for housing and food. Then, to mask the pain, they used drugs and soon were selling sex to feed their addiction.

The inquiry commissioners’ recommendations all point to the long-term solution to human trafficking, which is to attack the root causes of its victims’ vulnerability — poverty, childhood trauma, homelessness, disconnection from family and community.

Four charged in human trafficking probe that freed alleged 'modern-day slaves'

Adam Burns, The Canadian Press, 23 May 2019

[accessed 24 May 2019]

The charges relate to a probe unveiled in February, when authorities said they had rescued 43 people who were allegedly forced to work as cleaners at vacation properties in Ontario for as little as $50 per month.

"The 43 victims identified had been brought to Canada under the pretense of being here for either educational purposes or for the promise of work permits and eventual permanent residency status," OPP said in statement.

Trafficking in persons in Canada, 2018

Adam Cotter, Statistics Canada STATCAN, 23 June 2020

[accessed 9 July 2020]


·         Police services in Canada have reported 1,708 incidents of human trafficking since 2009. 

·         Nine in ten (90%) incidents of human trafficking were reported in census metropolitan areas.

·         The vast majority of victims of police-reported human trafficking were women and girls (97%).

·         About half (45%) of all victims of police-reported human trafficking were between the ages of 18 and 24. Nearly three in ten victims (28%) were under the age of 18, and the remainder (26%) were 25 years of age or older.

·         In about half (47%) of incidents, an accused person was not identified in connection with the incident.

·         Four in five (81%) persons accused of human trafficking since 2009 have been men.

·         Just over half (51%) of all accused persons were 25 years of age or older, and a further 43% were between the ages of 18 and 24. The remainder (6%) were youth, between the ages of 12 and 17.

·         Just over four in ten (44%) incidents of human trafficking involved other offences, most commonly related to sexual services, physical assault, or sexual assault or other sexual offences.

·         Between 2008/2009 and 2017/2018, there were 582 completed cases in adult criminal courts that involved at least one charge of human trafficking.

·         The median length of time it took to complete a case involving at least one charge of human trafficking was 358 days, roughly twice as long as the median for all violent offences.

·         Few cases where human trafficking was the most serious offence in the case resulted in a guilty decision (29%). This is in contrast to 58% of cases involving violent offences and 56% of cases where at least one charge of human trafficking was involved but was not the most serious offence.

·         Nearly half (45%) of the cases that successfully linked to an incident of police-reported human trafficking did not involve any charges of human trafficking. Most commonly, these cases involved charges for non-violent offences (54%).

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Canada

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 25 May 2021]


There were reports that employers subjected employees with temporary or no legal status to forced labor in the agricultural sector, food processing, cleaning services, hospitality, construction industries, and domestic service. During the pandemic there were also reports that some employers barred migrant workers from leaving the work location, hired private security to prevent workers from leaving, and deducted inflated food and supply costs from their wages. NGOs reported bonded labor, particularly in the construction industry, and domestic servitude constituted the majority of cases of forced labor and that some victims had participated in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.


Authorities effectively enforced child-labor laws and policies, and federal and provincial labor ministries carried out child-labor inspections either proactively or in response to formal complaints. There were reports that limited resources hampered inspection and enforcement efforts. Penalties were sufficient to deter violations.

There were reports child labor occurred, particularly in the agricultural sector. There were also reports children, principally teenage girls, were subjected to sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation (see section 6, Children).

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 8 July 2020]


There have been some reports of forced labor in the agricultural, food processing, construction, and other sectors, as well as among domestic workers. However, the government, aided by NGOs that work to reveal forced labor and sex trafficking, do attempt to hold perpetrators accountable and to provide aid to victims.

There is no national minimum wage, though provinces have set their own. Occupational safety standards are robust and generally well enforced. However, young workers, migrants, and new immigrants remain vulnerable to abuses in the workplace.

Sex trafficking: a national disgrace

“Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking” by Benjamin Perrin

Reviewed by Julian Sher, Globe and Mail, Oct. 15, 2010

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 30 January 2019]

The stories he documents are heartbreaking: a 14-year-old from Ontario sold for sex on Craigslist; young women from the war-torn Congo and Colombia trafficked to brothels and massage parlours in Canada; a 21-year-old from Alberta who went missing in Las Vegas in 2006.

Perrin cites a report from Canada’s Criminal Intelligence Service that estimates domestic sex traffickers earn an average of $280,000 annually from every victim under their control.

From April, 2007, to April, 2009, only about 30 people were charged with human trafficking in Canada; just five have been convicted to date. And their sentences amount to what Perrin aptly calls “a joke.”   One man from Ontario who earned at least $400,000 from marketing one girl for sex got three years – and that was harsh by Canadian standards. After his pretrial custody time was factored in, a Montreal man in 2008 got a week in jail, Another trafficker who claimed he had turned his life around by writing poems in jail while awaiting trial was sentenced to just one day.

10 family members charged in human-trafficking case

Adrian Morrow, The Globe and Mail, October 8, 2010

[accessed 19 August 2014]

[accessed 30 January 2019]

Out of work and impoverished, the men from the town of Papa in western Hungary were offered jobs in Canada, where they believed they could start new lives or at least earn enough money to support their families back home.

The RCMP say the reality they faced after their new bosses picked them up from John C. Munro airport in Hamilton was far different: housed in the basements of their employers’ homes and fed scraps from the table, they were made to work long hours at construction sites for no money.

The family’s associates in Hungary would recruit the men and send them to Hamilton, where they were instructed to make false refugee claims and start collecting social assistance, police said. Officers said the men never saw a penny of their welfare cheques, which were taken by their employers.    With poor English skills and their employers watching over them often, the workers were unable to inform authorities, police said. The alleged traffickers are accused of threatening to harm the men’s families back home to ensure their obedience

Human trafficking count laid

Gabrielle Giroday, Winnipeg Free Press, Sept. 24, 2010,

[accessed 27 January 2011]

The 38-year-old is accused of taking the victim's identification and clothing, punching her in a fight and stopping her twice as she attempted to run away, Winnipeg police said Thursday.   The pair lived in a home in the 300 block of Aikens Street. The older woman forced the girl to turn over the cash she made to pay for food and a roof over her head, investigators believe.

The Criminal Code describes a trafficker in human beings as "a person (who) exploits another person if they cause the victim to provide labour or service for fear of their safety or the safety of someone known to them."

However, the report did note there have been at least 30 court cases where victims -- mostly women between 14 and 25 years old -- were trafficked within Canada to make money in the sex trade. The report said predators recruited most of them in Ontario, though some came from Manitoba, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

Human traffic twist

Tamara Cherry, Sun Media, December 26, 2008

[accessed 27 January 2011]

A different picture emerged of a flesh trade often thought of as foreign nationals tricked across borders. It became apparent that Canadian women and girls were being victimized by Canadian men. The first two human trafficking convictions -- one in May, another in November, both from the Peel Regional Police vice unit -- involved domestic trafficking victims who were forced to prostitute and hand over all their earnings to pimps. The "rules" identified by police -- always checking in with their pimps, meeting daily quotas, the list goes on -- were strikingly similar across the board, when comparing the cases to the other nine human trafficking charges Peel has before the courts.

The first conviction, which involved two teenaged girls -- one just 14 years old -- who worked seven days a week and brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars for their trafficker, created "a ripple that has reached every region of the country," Perrin said.

Child prostitute alleges she was lured to Victoria streets

Times Colonist, November 17, 2008

[accessed 18 January 2016]

[accessed 6 September 2016]

A man released on bail in October is back in custody after police discovered he allegedly lured a 14-year-old female to work as a prostitute.

She alleges that she met the Victoria man over the internet. He lured her to Victoria from her family home in the B.C. Interior from where she has been missing for three weeks. Once here, he took control of her possessions, including identification and wallet. She says that when she tried to leave, he beat her and threatened her.

Why Canada has failed to deal with human trafficking

Daphne Bramham, Vancouver Sun, October 29, 2008

[accessed 18 January 2016]

[accessed 29 May 2017]

Only one victim -- a child sold to slave traders by parents -- came forward voluntarily. Fear, threats and coercion probably kept some away.  But, Perrin says, in most provinces, especially Ontario and Quebec, it's almost impossible to find any help.  But since the solicitor-general's office to combat human trafficking was set up two years ago, there hasn't been a single victim rescued or charge laid.  During the two years that Canada identified 31 trafficking victims, the United States found 17,000.

It's not that Canada is clean; the Americans have identified it as both a source and destination country for the victims of slave traders.  It's more likely because Canada has no national strategy for finding traffickers, no national plan for identifying and helping victims and little understanding of who the victims are.  Canada is obviously doing many things wrong.

Flesh trade targets natives - Young Aboriginal women used as a sex commodity in cities across Canada

Tamara Cherry, Sun Media, November 13, 2008

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 21 January 2018]

"There's a total myth that Aboriginal women either consent to or are born into the sex trade," says Jo-Ann Daniels, interim executive director for the Metis Settlements General Council in Edmonton. "The average age of Aboriginal girls who are human trafficked is between seven and 12 years old.

"It is Aboriginal girls and women who are specifically targeted in this country to be trafficked, in such huge numbers that it does not compare to any other population," Daniels says. "We believe that it is the root source of Aboriginal women ever being involved in the sex trade. We believe that Aboriginal women and Aboriginal girls have been domestically trafficked now for, I would say probably since the '50s when there began to be Aboriginal movement into urban areas or there were more contacts between Aboriginal communities and towns."

YOUNG, NAIVE - Sethi quotes an Aboriginal outreach worker as such: "Girls tend to believe in the promises of the traffickers as they are young, naive and vulnerable in a new and big city. They are unsuspecting of the motives of the traffickers, since they belong to communities that have a culture of welcoming strangers."

Foreign workers lured with lies

Tamara Cherry, Sun Media, November 13, 2008

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 21 January 2018]

DEBT TO PAY - Like many trafficking victims who are smuggled into this country, these victims are, too, told they have a debt to pay off. We found you a job, now you owe us some money.  And there is nobody telling them otherwise.  "There’s nobody to check up on them," Sikka says.  With no official agreement obligating the federal government to tell the provinces who, when and how many people are arriving as temporary foreign workers or live-in caregivers, employment standards branches across the country, no matter how good their intentions, don’t have the necessary information to check up on workers, Sikka says.  "There’s no mandatory orientation done," she says. "It’s absolutely, 100% necessary. I think it’s the primary thing we can do to stop the types of trafficking that are going on in Western Canada particularly."

Debt bondage aside, workers can fall into a "vicious cycle" of exploitation simply by not being informed of their rights upon arrival, Sikka says.  Something as simple as informing workers about the procedure of changing employers would be helpful for foreign workers who are granted visas to work at one place, but upon arrival in Canada, are shuffled over to different employers.  By the time they figure out they are working illegally, experts say, these workers may be hesitant to speak out about an exploitive situation for fear of deportation.  "They can change employers if they want, but they’re just not told," Sikka says. "Nobody informs them they have to go through that procedure."

UQ study looks at foreign sex worker exploitation and human trafficking

University of Queensland UQ News, 22 September 2008

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Australia and Canada's records in combating human trafficking were among the worst in the developed world, according to a University of Queensland researcher.  Dr Andreas Schloenhardt, a senior lecturer in UQ's TC Beirne School of Law said trafficking in persons remained a phenomenon not well understood and poorly researched.  "This is despite greater public awareness and acknowledgement of the problem by government agencies," he said.  "Strategic policies, concerted government action, along with prosecutions and convictions of traffickers are only slowly forthcoming and the support available to victims of trafficking is only marginally developed."

One of the major obstacles to government policy making, program development by non-governmental organisations, and public awareness about the exploitation of foreign workers and the trafficking in persons was the lack of any reliable and comprehensive account of the nature and extent of this problem, he said.  Anecdotal evidence and statistical estimates without a sufficient evidentiary basis were the only sources of information currently available about Australia and Canada's involvement in trafficking in persons.  This was in contrast to other countries where comprehensive accounts of human trafficking were published annually by government agencies.

Exploited workers Canada's 'slave trade'

Dale Brazao, Toronto Star, Aug 30 2008

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Skilled Filipino workers packed into filthy house, denied pay, threatened with deportation

It was 5:30 in the morning when Edwin Canilang realized he had been bought and sold.  Crowded in the back of a van heading north of Toronto with four other Filipino men last summer, the skilled welder faced another unpaid day on a cleanup detail at a bottling plant.

Some were pressed into service at a water bottling plant, run by De Rosa's family. Others dug ditches or picked up garbage around a large rural estate where De Rosa lives. The workers, threatened with deportation, did every menial job thrown at them. None of the work involved welding and plumbing, the trades that brought them here.

Que. couple could face human trafficking charge in teen prostitution case

Dave Rogers , Canwest News Service, Ottawa, August 07 2008

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Emerson was charged with 13 offences, including kidnapping, forcible confinement and procuring and living off the avails of prostitution after the police gangs section discovered that three teenage girls had been held captive for up to a year in a condominium building in Gatineau, just across the Ottawa River from the nation's capital.

Investigators said Wednesday that one 17-year-old girl they believed was an accomplice turned out to be a victim who had been held prisoner for a year. Two other 17-year-old girls are alleged to have been held for five to six months while they engaged in prostitution.  Gatineau's Assistant Crown attorney Diane Legault said Thursday the two accused likely will face new charges, including human trafficking.  In November 2005, the Criminal Code was amended to make the "recruitment, transporting, transferring, receipt, holding, concealment or harbouring of a person, or the exercise of control, direction or influence over the movements of a person for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation" an indictable offence.

SPECIAL REPORT: Human Trafficking - It happens more than you think in Canada, July 21, 2008

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 6 September 2016]

Slavery is alive and thriving in the 21st century. While human trafficking is indeed a global issue, Canadian citizens are often trafficked within their own country, enslaved, bought and sold from province to province. Every situation is different; often victims are lured into a horrific exploitive setting not by strangers but by someone they know, a relative, a neighbor, or even a friend.

Hundreds of thousands of children, young men and women have vanished from their everyday lives -forced by violence into a hellish existence of brutality and prostitution. They're a profitable commodity in the multi-billion-dollar industry of modern slavery. The underworld calls them human trafficking and it is all happening in our country.

Human trafficking a growing problem in Canada, B.C. expert says

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC News, October 28, 2008

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 30 January 2019]

But Perrin said Canada's first human trafficking conviction this summer did not involve a foreigner, but rather a 13-year-old in the Greater Toronto Area who was bought and sold by Canadian men on the popular online classified advertisement website Craigslist.

In May, former Toronto man Imani Nakpamgi admitted in court that he made more than $400,000 selling two underage girls for sex, according to the Toronto Star. Both girls had been reported missing, either by their family or child welfare officials.

UPDATES ON BC man charged with human trafficking sentenced to 15 months

The Canadian Press, Vancouver, April 23, 2008

[accessed 20 April 2012]

[accessed 6 September 2016]

During Ng's trial, provincial court Judge Malcolm MacLean was told Ng brought women to Canada, promising them jobs as waitresses and then putting them to work as prostitutes in his east Vancouver massage parlour.  One woman, whose identity is protected by court order, told MacLean she had been brought to Canada by Ng to work in what she thought was a restaurant.  Instead of a waitress job, the woman testified she was taken to a Ng's massage parlour and told she was expected to pay him $11,000 a month by prostituting herself.  But MacLean said there was no evidence the woman was forced or coerced into coming to Canada.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Report On Sex Slave Market Prompts Recount Of Trafficking Victims

Vittorio Hernandez, All Headline News (AHN News), April 14, 2008

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 31 August 2011]

Following the rediscovery of sex slave rings in Canada, the vice chair of the Parliamentary Committee on the Status of Women assigned staff to review the human trafficking data of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The initial RCMP estimate is that 800 to 1,200 people in Canada have been victims of human trafficking, but some groups cite figures as high as 15,000 victims.

Rise in human trafficking largely unnoticed in Canada, experts say

Jonathan Montpetit, The Canadian Press, April 09, 2008

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Human traffickers peddle young girls to work as sex slaves in Canadian cities for as little as $2,000 - a situation most people believe only happens in foreign lands, activists say.  An increase in human trafficking in Canada has gone largely unnoticed because Canadians think young girls choose to take up the sex trade, according to Joy Smith, a Conservative MP and longtime anti-trafficking activist.  “There are girls being sold in Montreal for $2,000,” Smith said.

She pointed out that many dismiss the scope of the problem by claiming sex slaves, who are mainly women, chose to become prostitutes.  “A lot of the girls in brothels never meant to be in brothels,” Smith said. “They got there because somebody threatened them and forced them into it.”

Alleged victims of human trafficking ring in protective custody

Cynthia Reason, InsideToronto, Jan 15, 2008

[accessed 19 July 2013]

Police allege the victims were smuggled across the Canadian border using false Israeli passports, provided by "the same criminal element from overseas," and then had their documents taken away from them upon their arrival.

Victims were then allegedly brought to a safe house and held until they started to comply with their perpetrators' demands - whether through threats of violence or allegations that they owed their captors for bringing them to Canada.

Police say they believe the victims would be locked in isolated rooms, away from the general public and away from each other, each day until around 6 p.m. A driver or chaperone would then arrive to bring them to a location or locations to work as prostitutes. When finished, they'd be brought back home and locked up again, Ervick alleged.

Ervick said the sums of money exchanging hands would vary on a case to case basis, but he alleged each young victim could conceivably "bring in as much as $4,000 to $10,000 a week," but only be given a given small sum to live off.

"These women are very vulnerable, in a country that is not their own, where they don't speak the language and are isolated both from the general population and from each other," he alleged.

Toronto Police Uncover Human Trafficking Ring

Toronto, January 12, 2008

[accessed 27 January 2011]

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

Police say the victims came to Canada with false passports under the pretext of working as models.  Once they arrived, police allege the women were forcibly confined and told they would be working as prostitutes for the ringleaders of the operation.

Human-trafficking charges dropped

S. Montgomery, The Gazette, December 6, 2007

[accessed 27 January 2011]

The couple's lawyer, Frank Pappas, said "even Inspector Clouseau" could have done a better investigation than the RCMP, who didn't interview the couple's neighbours, or the clerk at the depanneur where the domestic bought phone cards to call overseas.  "Had the RCMP investigated properly from the outset, they would have realized that her assertion ... that she was a prisoner was completely false," Pappas said. "Even Ray Charles could have seen it."

But Pappas said the whole thing was a scam in order for Manaye to avoid deportation.

Social networking sites used for human-trafficking - Hundreds of Albertans get targeted each year

Andrew Hanon, Sun Media, November 11, 2007

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 6 September 2016]

They do most of their recruiting on social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace, choosing naïve or vulnerable victims for “grooming” who are right around 18 years old in order to avoid detection by authorities looking for predators after underage kids.

After four or five dizzyingly spectacular dates, the predator will invite her to a private party.

She will be gang-raped and subjected to unspeakable humiliation. She might be drugged.  “Her ‘boyfriend’ will tell her what’s expected of her,” Galvin said. “She’s told the event will occur anyways. She can either fight or submit to it, but it’s going to happen.”  She will be threatened with death if she goes to police. Her family might also be threatened.

Human trafficking an issue in Canada

F. Loyie, Edmonton Journal, October 12, 2007

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Human-trafficking is not issue that gets a lot of attention in Alberta simply because most people think it's an international issue with international victims, Trompetter said.  But it happens more often than people think, she said. "We have national trafficking of Canadian women, especially in the aboriginal communities. In the prairie provinces, there is a lot of activity going on. Girls are being recruited on reserves and brought into the big urban centres like Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Edmonton and Calgary to work in prostitution."  A study by the federal standing committee on the status of women last February found aboriginal females are at greater risk of becoming victims of trafficking.  Erin Wolski, of the Native Women's Association of Canada, told the committee aboriginal females are "extremely vulnerable."

Reforming Canada’s Record on Human Trafficking

Lorraine Chan, The University of British Columbia UBC Reports | Vol. 53 | No. 9 | Sep. 6, 2007

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 30 January 2019]

A young woman answers a job ad that offers a prepaid air ticket and glamorous work as an international model. She leaves home -- perhaps from a city in Eastern Europe or Southeast Asia.  Upon arriving in Canada, she discovers to her horror that she has been lured into the sex trade and faces “debts” that she must now pay off. Somehow she escapes her captors and looks for help. The authorities detain, interrogate and then deport her.  Until recently, this was how Canada routinely treated human trafficking victims -- as illegal migrants, says Benjamin Perrin, an assistant professor who joined the UBC Faculty of Law in August.

Organized Crime and Human Trafficking in Canada: Tracing Perceptions and Discourses [PDF]

Christine Bruckert Ph.D. & Colette Parent Ph.D., Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa,

for the Research and Evaluation Branch, Community, Contract and Aboriginal Policing Services Directorate, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ottawa, 2004

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 30 January 2019]

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - The review of the cases reveals that, in spite of the judiciaries’ implicit acceptance of the official and counter discourse vis-à-vis the trafficking of women for the purposes of prostitution by organized crime, judgments are, for the most part, marked by a lack of sensitivity to the cultural, economic and social reality of undocumented migrant workers generally and to the reality of exploitation, violence and stigma experienced by sex trade workers more specifically. Moreover the documents are interpreted in a manner that renders the majority of claimants outside the discourse and hence not entitled to the consideration afforded ‘victims’. In particular the extrajudicial and potentially moral question of whether the women knew they would be working in the sex trade is rendered significant. It would appear that embedded in the sex slave/sex worker dichotomy is another dualism – innocent/culpable. Therefore women who are unaware that they will participate in the trade are potentially protected while women who experience severe labour abuse are held accountable for their situation regardless of the exploitation they may experience. In short the ‘sex slave’ discourse may operate against the interests of many irregular migrant sex trade workers by obscuring their exploitation at the same time as it renders exploitation the defining characteristic of others.

Canada's New Government Strengthens Protection for Victims of Human Trafficking

Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Ottawa Ontario, June 19, 2007

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 26 April 2020]

The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today introduced new measures to help assist victims of human trafficking brought into Canada from abroad.  The new measures extend the length of the temporary resident permit (TRP) for victims of human trafficking to 180 days, up from 120. This extension also allows victims to apply for a work permit - an option not previously available.  The new measures will also continue to allow victims of human trafficking to receive health-care benefits, including medical treatment and counselling services, under the Interim Federal Health Program.

F1 fuels human trafficking, activists say

S. Montgomery, The Gazette (Montreal) June 10, 2007

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Last year, Canada was singled out in an international study for failing to meet its obligations for the protection of victims of human trafficking. The 40-page study, titled Falling Short of the Mark: An International Study on the Treatment of Human Trafficking Victims, concluded that out of the countries evaluated - Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Britain and the United States - only Canada and Britain failed to meet their obligations to protect victims under the United Nations Trafficking Protocol and international best practices.

Falling Short of the Mark: An International Study on the Treatment of Human Trafficking Victims [PDF]

The Future Group, March 2006

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 30 January 2019]

CANADA - Canada has systematically failed to comply with its international obligations under the Trafficking Protocol for the protection of victims of human trafficking. There is no  evidence it has considered providing for the protection of victims in the manner obliged under the Trafficking Protocol. Canada.s record of dealing with trafficking victims is an international embarrassment and contrary to best practices. This is despite being the first jurisdiction in this Study to have ratified the Trafficking Protocol almost four years ago on May 13, 2002. Canada has ignored calls for reform and continues to re-traumatize trafficking victims, with few exceptions, by subjecting them to routine deportation and fails to provide even basic support services.

The situation in Canada is so bad, with respect to a failure to provide basic support to trafficking victims, that individual law enforcement officers are attempting to approach local hospitals and NGOs to cobble together funding to provide the most basic medical assistance for these victims in major Canadian cities.

Winnipeg police to draft human trafficking policy

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC News, January 8, 2007

[accessed 19 August 2014]

The average model is 14 years old, the Winnipeg-based Crawford said, and some of them are vulnerable to abuse by recruiters, agents and photographers. Crawford says she has seen or heard of girls being raped, used as prostitutes or sent to work in bars.   Ewatski acknowledged that human trafficking as a crime has come to Winnipeg, although not to the same extent as larger centres such as Vancouver and Montreal.

MP calls for action to combat human trafficking

Canwest News Service, Ottawa, December 8, 2006

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Smith explained that women from other countries are promised a better life in Canada, and once they are brought here their documents are taken away and they are forced into the sex trade. The same is true, Smith said, for Canadian women who have pursued modelling careers abroad.

Human-trafficking bill introduced

Toronto Star, Ottawa, 10 December 2006

[accessed 27 January 2011]

A Canadian teenager signs up for a modelling program and, unbeknownst to her parents, is forced to have sex with strangers while travelling in Europe. A Mexican woman is smuggled into Canada illegally, and turns tricks against her will above a downtown Toronto drugstore. The RCMP estimates that 800-1,200 people in Canada, the vast majority of them women, are victims of human trafficking each year, but non-governmental organizations peg the number in the thousands.

Local Sex Crime Conference Focuses On Human Trafficking

City News, Toronto, 2006/11/20

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 30 January 2019]

And the crime that so often happens in the background is more present than any of us would like to think. Numbers from the Mounties suggest  between 600-800 people  are 'trafficked' to Canada every year.  Many of those being victimized are prime targets for the despicable entrepreneurs -  young women from third-world countries that have high rates of poverty, violence, illiteracy and political and economic instability.  But it's not just the more stereotyped "sex slaves" that you often read about. While that's number one on the list, the vulnerable can also become prisoners of domestic servitude, the farming and fishing industry and sweat shops.

Human trafficking not just a big city problem: RCMP

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC News, November 7, 2006

[accessed 19 August 2014]

Human trafficking is becoming a bigger concern all the time, he said, and it often involves forcing people into the sex trade or making farm workers and nannies work long hours for little money.  MacIver said it's not talked about much in small towns, so people may think it doesn't exist.  "They are not aware of it and not educated about it," he said.  According to the RCMP, between 800 and 1,200 people are victims of human trafficking in Canada each year, most working in forced labour or the illegal sex trade.

Human trafficking victims face immigration barriers

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC News, October 26, 2006

[accessed 19 August 2014]

Hundreds of children, men and women believed to be bought and sold in Canada every year in what amounts to a life of slavery face large hurdles to stay in the country legally once they escape their captors.  Conservative RCMP estimates show that between 800 and 1,200 people are victims of human trafficking in Canada each year, with most ending up working in forced labour or the illegal sex trade.

University College of the Fraser Valley expert testifies

Robert Freeman, Black Press, Oct 10 2006

[accessed 27 January 2011]

"We have to create an environment in which it is safe for victims to come forward and seek help," he said, keeping in mind that they are "seriously at risk of reprisal or intimidation" from their captors here in Canada while their families face "terrorism" back in their homeland.

Successful human traffickers have become adept at using various simple but very effective methods of psychological control over their victims," Dandurand said. "They know how to break a victim's self-confidence and self-efficacy, crush their hopes, and condition them to resign themselves to a life of exploitation in which they are trapped."

Border guards uncover human trafficking network

22 June 2006 -- Source:

[accessed 19 July 2013]

Six Korean women, who were potential victims of human trafficking, have returned to Korea after they were discovered hiding in a bush at the Osoyoos border crossing.

Human Trafficking Could be Huge Issue During 2010 Olympics

Camille Bains, Canadian Press CP, December 09, 2006

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Typically, traffickers lure women with promises of jobs that will supposedly pay them many times what they would earn in their home country.  But the reality is they’re forced to work as prostitutes in massage parlours and must repay thousands of dollars in debt for living expenses and forged passports.  Non-governmental organizations say women are sometimes kidnapped, beaten and drugged before being brought to Canada for an industry that involves low risk and high profits for the traffickers.  Government and police officials are aware of the problem and concerned about the potential the Games pose for traffickers.

Press Review For May 12, 2006

[Last access date unavailable]


[scroll down to the story]

The Future Group, a Canadian NGO, said in March that Ottawa did a terrible job of helping human trafficking victims and usually deported them. Immigration Minister Monte Solberg, who said the report "was a wake-up call", said victims would be given temporary residence permits valid for 120 days and were eligible for health-care benefits. At the end of that period they could either return to their home country or apply for another permit valid for up to five years.

New government revisits visas for exotic dancers

Hannah James, The Online Reporter, University of Western Ontario Program of Journalism, Feb. 22, 2006

[accessed 27 January 2011]

The new application stipulates changes to the employment contracts, making work in Canada safer for foreign women than before. Some changes include: longer employment contracts (one year rather than the former three months), 30 guaranteed hours of work per week, dancers keep all gratuities and tips, no physical contact between the dancer and patron, the employer must assist the employee with applying for public health care and insurance coverages, and the employer must also pay for transportation from and to the dancer's home country.

Canada an “International Embarrassment” on Sex Trafficking

Terry Vanderheyden, LifeSiteNews, Montreal, March 2, 2006

[accessed 19 January 2016]

Canada and the United Kingdom have been singled out in an international study for failing to meet their obligations for the protection of victims of human trafficking, while other developed countries received praise for their efforts.

Of the countries evaluated: Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, only Canada and the UK failed to meet their obligations to protect victims under the United Nations Trafficking Protocol and international best practices.

Child-sex ring uncovered in Winnipeg, police allege

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC News, November 2, 2005

[accessed 19 August 2014]

Sgt. Kelly Dennison said about 20 girls – aged 12 to 17 – were sold into prostitution.  Dennison said the other children younger than age 12, including a baby of only 18 months, weren't necessarily forced to perform sexual acts but may have been exposed to them because they lived in the houses where they were taking place.

MP tears strip off Liberals, Feds continue to allow exploitation, Tory says

Ottawa Sun, Nov 1, 2005 –

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[scroll down to November 02, 2005]

Diane Ablonczy accused the government of misleading Canadians last year when it claimed to be "canceling" the controversial policy of issuing temporary work permits to exotic dancers based on a labor market opinion from the Human Resources department.  But the "sordid truth" is that the welcome mat is still rolled out to foreign strippers, she told the House, citing a Sun story over the weekend.

Human trafficking charges laid in B.C.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC News, April 14, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

A man in Vancouver faces human trafficking charges in the first such case since Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was brought in three years ago.

Hundreds of foreigners lured in sex trade: RCMP

Canadian Press, Ottawa, Dec. 7, 2004

[accessed 19 August 2014]

At least 600 foreign women and girls are coerced into joining the Canadian sex trade each year by human traffickers, says a newly declassified RCMP report.  As many as 2,200 other newcomers are smuggled into the United States from Canada to toil in brothels, sweatshops, domestic jobs or construction work, estimates the intelligence assessment obtained by The Canadian Press.  And the RCMP says the numbers may represent just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as it is widely believed only one in 10 victims of trafficking report the crime to police.

Washington state a hotbed for human trafficking, report says

Florangela Davila, Seattle Times, July 14, 2004

[accessed 27 January 2011]

A new report says Washington state is a hotbed for what many say is a modern form of slavery: human trafficking, the recruitment, transportation and sale of people for labor.  The state's international border with Canada, its many ports, rural areas and dependency on agricultural workers make Washington prone to such exploitation, according to the report.  "It is such a hideous crime because it's really slavery," said Bev Emery, who manages the state's Office of Crime Victims Advocacy. "It's looking at and treating human beings as though they are a commodity to be bought and sold."

Trapped in the traffic

Elaine Pearson, New Internationalist - Issue 337, August 2001

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Several years ago Nam was promised safe passage to Canada and a job to help pay off her airfare. When she arrived she found she had been trafficked into prostitution, forced to work against her will without seeing any of her earnings. Later, when the brothel was raided Nam was ‘rescued’ by police. But that meant going to jail for a year before being forced to return home.

S.F. parlor hit in crackdown on sex slave trade

Phillip Matier & Andrew Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, October 25, 2004

[accessed 28 August 2012]

The two later told investigators they had been smuggled from Canada into the United States in May and taken directly to King's, where one of the managers allegedly paid $32,000 to the person who had transported them.

The two women said they briefly escaped in August, but were soon found by the manager and two other workers, returned to King's and beaten.

Trafficking in Persons

Department of Justice, Canada, 2007-06-14

[access information unavailable]


·         Research / Academic

·         Canadian non-governmental organisations

·         Intergovernmental organisations and initiatives

·         International non-governmental organisations

·         Federal departments and agencies members of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Trafficking in Persons (IWGTIP)

Helping Honduran Children Return Home

Canada's Human Security Program, 2002-2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

With support from the Human Security Program, the International Organization for Migration and Covenant House (Casa Alianza) have begun a pilot project that aims to repatriate and re-integrate Honduran street children who have been trafficked to Canada and the United States.

Embattled minister promises changes to exotic dancer rules

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC News, November 25, 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

"When you talk to the women who are so desperate for a way out of [their] countries they say, 'Please keep this program because it does provide us with an opportunity – as much as we may not like it or approve of it – a chance of a better life.'"  Sgro says once the women get to Canada they often run into problems. "They don't have a lot of language skills and they're ripe for exploitation."

Canada Abruptly Ends Special Visas for Exotic Dancers after Inquiries into Underage Strippers, Ottawa, December 1, 2004

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[accessed 30 January 2019]

Today in the House of Commons, Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan announced an abrupt end to the Canadian scheme of arranging visas specifically for exotic dancers, or strippers, which are used to fill positions at strip clubs in Canada. Those clubs, it has been acknowledged even by club owners, are notorious for forced back-room prostitution work.

U.S., Canadian and Mexican Representatives Meet to Combat Sexual Exploitation

University of Pennsylvania, Penn News, Philadelphia, November 28, 2001

[accessed 27 January 2011]

Other newly released information from the Penn study shows that Canada is an easy gateway into the U.S. for sexually exploited children from China, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia and Central and Eastern Europe. "Due to relaxed border controls between the U.S. and Canada," Estes said, " trafficked children are able to be moved with comparative ease and meet with little or no official interference."

Trafficking in Women in Canada: A Critical Analysis of the Legal Framework Governing Immigrant Live-in Caregivers and Mail-Order Brides

Louise Langevin & Marie-Claire Belleau, Status of Women Canada, Policy Research Fact Sheet, 2002

[accessed 19 August 2014]

This report analyses the legal framework governing the hiring of immigrant live-in caregivers and the legal status of mail-order brides who immigrate to Canada with a spousal or fiancée visa.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 October 2003

[accessed 27 January 2011]

[52] The Committee is also concerned about the increase of foreign children and women trafficked into Canada.

[53] The Committee recommends …

The Protection Project - Canada [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[Last accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Most of the Chinese, Korean, Malaysian, and Thai women found in raids on brothels, massage parlors, and karaoke bars across the country have told police that an agent in their home countries charged them for transportation to Canada and for job placement. Some agents demanded payment in advance, while others agreed to be repaid once the girls were working in Canada. The agents then sold them to bar and brothel owners for prices ranging from Cdn$7,500 to Cdn$15,000.

Human Rights Overview by Human Rights Watch – Defending Human Rights Worldwide

[accessed 27 January 2011]


2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 20 April 2018

[accessed 19 March 2019]

[accessed 25 June 2019]


There were reports that employers subjected noncitizen or foreign-born men and women to forced labor in the agricultural sector, food processing, cleaning services, hospitality, construction industries, and in domestic service. NGOs reported that bonded labor, particularly in the construction industry, and domestic servitude constituted the majority of cases of forced labor and that some victims had participated in the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.


There were reports that child labor occurred, particularly in the agricultural sector. There were also reports that children, principally teenage females, were subjected to sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 7 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Thousands of persons entered the country illegally over the last decade. These persons came primarily from East Asia (particularly China and Korea, but also Malaysia), Central and South Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia, Latin America and the Caribbean (including Mexico, Honduras, and Haiti), and South Africa. Many of these illegal immigrants paid large sums to be smuggled to the country, were indentured to their traffickers upon arrival, worked at lower than minimum wage, and used most of their salaries to pay down their debt at usurious interest rates. The traffickers used violence to ensure that their clients paid and that they did not inform the police. Asian women and girls who were smuggled into the country often were forced into prostitution. Traffickers used intimidation and violence, as well as the illegal immigrants' inability to speak English, to keep victims from running away or informing the police.

Vancouver and Toronto served as hubs for organized crime groups that trafficked in persons, including for prostitution. East Asian crime groups targeted the country, Vancouver in particular, exploiting immigration laws, benefits available to immigrants, and the proximity to the US border.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Canada",, [accessed <date>]