Human Trafficking vs. Human Smuggling Video Transcript

Robin Pike, Past Executive Director, B.C.'s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General:

Human trafficking and human smuggling are often confused and we hear them referred to in the media back and forth as if they are the same phenomena. And they are clearly not the same phenomena. We have experienced human smuggling on this coast, we have experienced human trafficking. And in the most simplistic of forms, human smuggling is seen as a crime against the state. For a large group of people have paid money to come into a country and bypass immigration mechanisms. Human smuggling situation can turn into human trafficking if an individual who then has paid is not able to fulfill that debt. And that can turn into a situation of exploitation, debt bondage, removal of documents, confining their movement, and that’s when it becomes human trafficking. Which is, once again very simplistically, defined as a crime against the individual. There are different laws governing human smuggling versus human trafficking and our focus, at this point, is human trafficking. But, as I said, it could have been a situation that started out as a human smuggling case.