Human Trafficking RCMP Findings

According to the RCMP, in Canada as of August 2013, there have been 46 human trafficking cases where convictions have been secured in Canada, with 87 individuals found guilty of human trafficking or related offences. For the most recent summary of human trafficking convictions in Canada, visit the Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre.

Several RCMP reports conclude that:

  • In Canada, human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is mostly associated with organized prostitution occurring discreetly behind fronts, such as escort agencies and residential brothels.
  • The majority of domestically trafficked women and girls are initially trafficked between the ages of 14 and 25, and most are recruited through the Internet or by an acquaintance. Most are economically vulnerable women and girls who are at-risk, or teenage runaways.
  • Women trafficked from overseas to work in the sex trade in Canada come primarily from Eastern Europe and Asia. The women trafficked from Eastern Europe range from 21 to 38 years old, and are mostly found in the escort agency sector. They were recruited to Canada through advertisements on websites and in newspapers.
  • African nationals identified as trafficked persons were trafficked for sexual exploitation outside of, and before arriving, in Canada.
  • Organized crime networks with Eastern European links have been involved in the organized entry of women from former Soviet States into Canada for employment in escort services in the Greater Toronto Area and possibly in massage and escort services in the Montreal area. These groups have demonstrated transnational capabilities and significant associations with convicted human traffickers in the Czech Republic, Germany, Belarus and Israel.
  • The majority of foreign nationals exploited for their labour in situations of domestic servitude are women from poor economic backgrounds who are recruited overseas by the employing family and brought into Canada using visitor's visas. Some have also come into the country as mail-order brides or been sponsored in as wives or fiancées. All were controlled, threatened, underpaid and forced to work by their employers.
  • Labour trafficking investigations to date have involved individuals or family units taking advantage and exploiting foreign workers for personal gain. The RCMP has not identified organized crime involvement in human trafficking for forced labour.
  • Trafficked persons in human trafficking investigations believed that, if they did not provide their labour or services, their employers would have been capable of inflicting harm on them or their family members in Canada or overseas.
  • Several groups of children, such as runaway children and youth living without parents or guardians at a young age, were found to be more vulnerable to trafficking for sexual exploitation. These children and youth often lacked sufficient supervision, or were developmentally unprepared to deal with manipulation and control by others, which, in turn, put them in situations of potential risk.

Hidden Abuse – Hidden Crime

A 2010 study published by the RCMP showed that "some Canadian children involved in the sex trade were recruited, transported and exploited – some more openly and extensively than others."

Hidden Abuse – Hidden Crime. The Domestic Trafficking of Children and Youth in Canada: The Relationship to Sexual Exploitation, Running Away and Children at Risk of Harm (PDF) by Marlene Dalley.

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