Indicators of Trafficking for Domestic Servitude

Religious and Spiritual Outings

Trafficked domestic servants are sometimes permitted to leave the home on a weekly basis to attend religious or spiritual services. This may be the only unaccompanied or free time the person has all week.

Most domestic servants are exploited for their labour in private homes. Most are required to clean the house, do the laundry, cook meals, maintain the lawns and gardens and look after the children, elderly relatives and pets. Most are required to be available at all times and work every day, for little or no pay, and may be verbally, physically and sexually abused by members of the household. Many are threatened with being sent home.

Domestic servants may be recruited through employment agencies, or they may be recruited privately by family members or other people they know.

My Story: I feel like I am going crazy. I cry all the time. I have flashbacks triggered by sounds. I am noticed because of media attention. I am embarrassed. I feel judged. If I remember what happened to me inside that family I cry. It would have been better if I never came to Canada.

- Leticia


Reality Check: Remember Akeyo’s story in this Module – the woman who thought she was hired as a nanny for a family in Canada? If you worked at the shelter Akeyo escaped to, would you have recognized her as a trafficked person? Why or why not?


Red Flags: You learn or suspect that the person:

  • Does not eat with family, or eats only leftovers.
  • Appears malnourished or tells you that they are hungry.
  • Is unable to leave the home, or may only leave in the company of a member of the household.
  • If they are able to leave the house, their movements and activities are restricted.
  • Is expected to be available to work up to 24 hours a day, with few or no days off.
  • Has been physically or sexually assaulted by their employer or members of the household.
  • Does not know much about the community around them (due to being isolated).


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