Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) sites human trafficking as: “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by improper means, such as force, abduction, fraud or coercion, for an improper purpose, such as forced or coerced labour, servitude, slavery or sexual exploitation.”

Victims of human trafficking experience a variety of extreme hardships. These individuals are subject to exploitive and dangerous living and working conditions, experience a wide-range of infringements of their rights, and often live in fear for their personal safety or that of their family. Victims may be coerced into staying in bad living and working conditions, no longer allowed to exercise their own will.

Often traffickers use the internet, including social media sites, to make initial contact with potential victims. Perpetrators of human trafficking may target victims inside or outside of Canada, as human trafficking can occur within or across borders. In the case of the latter, traffickers may use deception and fraud to obtain documents and/or assist victims to enter into Canada. As such, victims of human trafficking may not be aware that they have entered Canada illegally or may have entered in a legal capacity only to subsequently be exploited.

Identifying someone, especially those who are travelling, as victims of human trafficking can be difficult as even potential victims may remain unaware of traffickers’ true intent. Initially, victims may believe that traffickers are helping rather than exploiting them.

If you believe that you are a victim of human trafficking and need help immediately call 911.

Here is a list of governmental agencies and independent organizations that may be able to assist you or provide you with information on human trafficking.  

Canada wide Citizenship and Immigration Canada: 1-888-242-2100
RCMP Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre: 1-855-850-4640
Migrante Canada Hotline: 1-800-559-8092
Quebec PINAY (Filipino Women’s Organization): 1-514-364-9833
RCMP Quebec: 1-800-771-5401 or 1-866-227-2124
Alberta Action Coalition on Human Trafficking in Alberta: 1 (780) 474-1104

RCMP Alberta: 403-276-5794

British Columbia West Coast Domestic Workers Association: 1-604-669-4482
Ontario RCMP Ontario: 1-800-387-0020