Human Trafficking Community Findings
Community organizations and service providers, as well as Aboriginal organizations and First Nations communities, report many instances of human trafficking that may not be captured by official reports or statistics.
- Although the number of confirmed cases of human trafficking in Calgary and Alberta is small (especially cases where charges have been laid) and the total number of cases is unknown, almost half of research informants indicated they have been in contact with at least one suspected victim of trafficking.
- Survivors of human trafficking in Calgary are both foreign nationals and Canadian citizens and are trafficked for sexual or labour exploitation.
Another study summarizing perspectives from the Canadian community sector on human trafficking makes the following observations:
- Particularly striking among the findings is the young age of many trafficking victims and the prevalence of trafficking of Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. The extent of the trafficking networks operating in Canada was startling in terms of both the high level of organization and the magnitude of trafficking; respondents described networks which cross the continent and include major metropolitan centres in both Canada and the U.S., but also extend north into smaller Canadian towns in British Columbia and the Prairie provinces.
My Story: I tried running away a few times. The first time I tried, he broke all my toes and I couldn’t walk. I was trapped in the house and that’s when he brought the men home.
The Canadian Council for Refugees reports an increase in trafficking cases identified, as part of a National Forum on Human Trafficking held in 2012. Participants at the Forum recognized:
- Both domestic and international trafficking cases.
- Domestic cases predominately come from low-income, at-risk neighbourhoods.
- The trafficking of youth aged 16-18 has become more apparent.
- An increase in the amount of labour trafficking cases encountered by front line service providers.
Flesh Trade, Part 2
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