Learn: What Is Human Trafficking?

The Worlds Darkest Kept Secret

There are 29.8 million people are in slavery today and they need your help! Human Trafficking is the fastest growing crime on our planet today, next to arms and drugs, it is the largest illegal trade.
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What Is Human Trafficking

What is Human Trafficking?

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes Defines Human Trafficking As Follows: Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs

Elements of human trafficking

On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, it is evident that trafficking in persons has three constituent elements; The Act (What is done) Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons The Means (How it is done) Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim The Purpose (Why it is done) For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs. To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation.

Criminalization of human trafficking

The definition contained in article 3 of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol is meant to provide consistency and consensus around the world on the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. Article 5 therefore requires that the conduct set out in article 3 be criminalized in domestic legislation. Domestic legislation does not need to follow the language of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol precisely, but should be adapted in accordance with domestic legal systems to give effect to the concepts contained in the Protocol. In addition to the criminalization of trafficking, the Trafficking in Persons Protocol requires criminalization also of: · Attempts to commit a trafficking offence · Participation as an accomplice in such an offence · Organizing or directing others to commit trafficking. National legislation should adopt the broad definition of trafficking prescribed in the Protocol. The legislative definition should be dynamic and flexible so as to empower the legislative framework to respond effectively to trafficking which: · Occurs both across borders and within a country (not just cross-border) · Is for a range of exploitative purposes (not just sexual exploitation) · Victimizes children, women and men (Not just women, or adults, but also men and children) · Takes place with or without the involvement of organized crime groups. For a checklist of Criminalization under the Protocol, click here. To see how human trafficking is different to migrant smuggling, click here.

Canada's Definition of Human Trafficking

The Canadian Government defines Human Trafficking as follows: Sited from The Ministry of Public Safety Human trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation, harbouring and/ or exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person in order to exploit that person, typically through sexual exploitation or forced labour. It is often described as a modern form of slavery. Organized criminal networks, as well as individuals, perpetrate this crime, operating within Canada’s borders and internationally. Traffickers reap large profits while robbing victims of their freedom, dignity and human potential at great cost to the individual and society at large. Traffickers control their victims in various ways such as taking away their identity documents and passports, sexual abuse, threats, intimidation, physical violence, and isolation. Victims suffer physical or emotional abuse and often live and work in horrific conditions. They may also face fatal consequences if they attempt to escape. This crime represents a consistent and pervasive assault on the fundamental human rights of its victims. While it is impossible to truly know the full scope and impact of this problem at the international or Canadian level, we do know that women and children are the primary victims -overwhelmingly so for sexual exploitation but also for forced labour – however, men are not immune to this crime. The extent of human trafficking, either in Canada or internationally, is difficult to assess due to the hidden nature of these offences, the reluctance of victims and witnesses to come forward to law enforcement and the difficulty of identifying victims in practice. Moreover, these cases often go unnoticed and unreported due to manipulation, fear, threats from traffickers, shame, language barriers or mistrust of authorities. A set of interrelated “push” and “pull” factors contribute to human trafficking. “Push” factors include extreme poverty, unemployment, lack of education, inadequate social programs, gender-based inequality, corruption, war and conflict situations, and political unrest in countries of origin. “Pull” factors include the perceived financial rewards of cheap, exploitative labour practices in some economic sectors. Victims may also be ‘pulled’ into trafficking through the promise of money and what is portrayed as or believed to be a better life. Human trafficking is often characterized as a “low risk/high reward activity” because of the fact that the crime is clandestine, therefore difficult to detect and investigate, which contributes to the relatively low prosecution rates worldwide. Victims can be exploited over and over for the financial or material benefit of the traffickers making this crime lucrative. The United Nations (UN) has estimated that this illegal activity generates approximately $32 billion2 (US) annually for its perpetrators. The United Nations, including the General Assembly (UNGA), Security Council (UNSC), Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and the Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) regularly contribute to the global research, prevention and protection landscape on human trafficking. Canada strongly supports anti-human trafficking activities in these various fora and offices, as well as those which are specifically dedicated to the fight against trafficking including the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.

Human Trafficking In Canada

Human Trafficking in Canada

Sited from The Ministry of Public Safety Canada In Canada, human trafficking often takes place in large urban centres, and also occurs in smaller cities and communities, largely for the purpose of sexual exploitation. We know that men, women and children fall victim to this crime, although women represent the majority of victims in Canada to date. More generally, those who are likely to be at-risk include persons who are socially or economically disadvantaged, such as some Aboriginal women, youth and children, migrants and new immigrants, teenaged runaways, children who are in protection, as well as girls and women, who may be lured to large urban centres or who move or migrate there voluntarily. Young women are sometimes recruited by younger male members of street gangs who use the promise of affection as a tool to recruit them. As part of the Government’s efforts, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police conducted Canada’s first Human Trafficking Threat Assessment, which reviewed cases and intelligence between 2005 and 2009 to determine the extent of this crime in 20103. The Threat Assessment confirmed that vulnerable, economically challenged and socially dislocated sectors of the Canadian population represent a potential pool of trafficking victims. It noted that non-Canadian victims are often brought to Canada from countries in Asia, notably Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as countries in Eastern Europe. More recently, increased evidence of human trafficking for forced labour has come to light. Investigations of such cases have occurred across the country with charges being laid in Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia. Cases encountered to date suggest that human trafficking for forced labour is more prevalent in Alberta and Ontario. Labour-related intelligence and investigations have involved foreign nationals, both male and female, from the Philippines, India, Poland, China, Ethiopia, Mexico, Thailand and Hungary. In addition, there are indications that some foreign nationals are illegally transported and subsequently exploited by the employers as domestic servants. Obtaining cooperation from foreign victims has been particularly challenging for law enforcement. Foreign victims who were trafficked are usually in the country alone, without family or a support system, and may be obstructed by language barriers. Also, they may not always see themselves as victims of human trafficking. In most cases, they are skeptical of police and see very little value or nothing to gain from cooperating with police. The Threat Assessment reports that investigations and intelligence have identified both men and women migrant workers as a vulnerable group for forced labour. Investigations into claims of labour exploitation have centred on the treatment of migrant workers, and in some cases, the fraudulent use of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program by third parties. Download the 2013 National Action Plan To Combat Human Trafficking

Canada's Criminal Law

Canada’s Criminal Law Responses

Sited from The Ministry of Public Safety Canada The Criminal Code of Canada (Criminal Code) contains the tools to hold traffickers accountable and includes four specific indictable offences to address human trafficking, namely sections 279.01 (Trafficking in persons), 279.011 (Trafficking of a person under the age of eighteen years), 279.02 (Material benefit), and 279.03 (Withholding or destroying documents). Many other Criminal Code offences can also apply to human trafficking cases including kidnapping, forcible confinement, uttering threats, extortion, assault, sexual assault, prostitution-related offences, and criminal organization offences. Section 118 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) contains a provision that prohibits the bringing into Canada of persons by means of abduction, fraud, deception or use of threat of force or coercion. It carries a maximum penalty of a fine of up to $1 million and/or up to life imprisonment. The Criminal Code also contains measures designed to make testifying less traumatic for victims and other vulnerable witnesses. Testimonial aids, such as a screen that prevents the witness from seeing the accused, the use of closed-circuit television that permits the witness to testify from outside the courtroom or the presence of support persons may be made available in appropriate circumstances. Other measures that may be available are publication bans on information that would identify a complainant or witness and, in some cases, orders excluding the public from the courtroom. See Annex A for Canadian anti-trafficking legislation.