Making a Referral for Trafficked Persons

If the trafficked person consents to being referred to another service, you can offer to either:

  • Provide the contact information so they can make arrangements on their own. (They are in full control.)
  • Sit with them as they make their calls, or accompany them as they visit new service providers. (They are in control, but have the benefit of your reassurance and support.)
  • Call on their behalf. (This way, the trafficked person will not have to tell their story repeatedly, deal with answering machines, or risk being turned away by a service provider who cannot help at that moment.)

Eligibility for Services

Some foreign trafficked persons are in Canada without legal status and others may have legal status but only for a limited time or purpose (such as a student or visitor’s permit or a temporary foreign worker permit). Still others may be uncertain about their legal status in Canada, and feel unsure about whether they can seek assistance without being deported or reported to police or border authorities.

Any of these situations may result in a trafficked person having little access to social and health services in Canada.

When seeking services for foreign trafficked persons, it is important to consider their legal status in Canada and find services they can access. It may be possible to contact providers and discuss a waiver of criteria to allow a foreign trafficked person to access services.

Preparing the Person

Remember: some people who have been trafficked have never accessed services before, and may never have had an interview with an authority figure or an examination by a health care professional.

Once you’ve located the service or services the trafficked person wants or needs, it may help if you can:

  • Explain to them what to expect during the appointment.
  • Remind them that they can ask questions or end the appointment at any time.

In the following video, Professor Benjamin Perrin talks about how Eve, who you read about in Module 2, managed to change her trafficker’s brand into a symbol of hope.

Redesigning a Branding Tattoo

(Video runtime 00:49)

(Transcripts on the Redesigning a Branding Tattoo video.)


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