Human trafficking and human smuggling are not the same thing. The differences are as follows:
Human Trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation or harbouring of persons for the purpose of exploitation (typically in the sex industry or for forced labour). Traffickers use various methods to maintain control over their victims, including force, sexual assault, threats of violence and physical or emotional abuse. Human trafficking may occur across or within borders, may involve extensive organized crime networks, and is clearly a violation of the basic human rights of its victims. The relationship between the trafficker and the victim is continuous and extends beyond the border crossing. Victims may be forced into labour, prostitution or some other form of servitude. Victims may suffer abuse from their traffickers and may face severe consequences if they attempt to escape.
A distinction between international and domestic human trafficking is made by the RCMP for law enforcement purposes in order to determine the application of the appropriate piece of legislation as well as determine the jurisdictions based on law enforcement mandates. The RCMP defines these two concepts as follows:
Domestic Human Trafficking refers to any victim of human trafficking who is trafficked within Canada (regardless of the victim's status).
International Human Trafficking refers to any victim of human trafficking who, in the process of being trafficked, crossed an international border (regardless of the victim's status).
Human smuggling is a form of illegal migration involving the organized transport of a person across an international border, usually in exchange for a sum of money and sometimes in dangerous conditions. When the final destination is reached the business relationship ends, and the smuggler and the individual part company. In some cases, a person who has agreed to be smuggled into a country becomes a trafficking victim at the hands of the smuggler.
Vulnerable populations at risk of becoming trafficked include migrant workers, new immigrants, youth, Aboriginal women and girls, those who are socially or economically disadvantaged, or those who may have been lured to urban centres or have gone of their own free will with the hopes of bettering their lives. Convictions for human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation demonstrate that Canadian girls and women are often victims.
Canada has been identified as a transit and destination country for human smuggling. The extent of human trafficking is difficult to assess due to the clandestine nature of these offences, the reluctance of victims/witnesses to come forward to law enforcement and the difficulty in distinguishing between human trafficking victims and illegal migrants. Canada is also a country where domestic trafficking for sexual exploitation prevails.
The involvement of transnational organized crime groups in human trafficking is part of a growing global trend. Human trafficking generates huge profits for criminal organizations, which often have operations extending from the source to the destination countries. These transnational crime networks also utilize smaller, decentralized criminal groups that may specialize in recruiting, transporting or harbouring victims. Human trafficking is also known to be perpetrated by small family criminal groups who control the entire operation. Individuals working independently also traffic persons for profit/personal gain.
Traffickers approach potential victims in a variety of manners including:
More abusive methods are also used and range from:
Human trafficking may occur locally or domestically, without any movement, such as within the same city.
In international cases, victims may be transported by plane, boat, train or any type of vehicle, and often a combination of them, using genuine and/or fraudulent documents that are usually removed from them upon arrival at their destination.
Victims may be isolated and/or taken to illicit businesses where they may be subjected to physical and sexual abuse and concealment. They may be forced to perform a variety of services including working in the sex trade, factories, restaurants, agriculture, or providing domestic work.
There are very few clear black and white indicators of human trafficking.
Victims may be found anywhere in Canada. Some basic examples include:
Victims can be found anywhere in Canada. Some basic examples include:
Information may be obtained from:
It is also the responsibility of law enforcement to seek out and identify potential victims through awareness initiatives and investigations.
Sections 279.01-279.04 contain four indictable offences which specifically address human trafficking:
These Criminal Code sections complement the existing Immigration and Refugee Protection Act trafficking offence and existing trafficking-related Criminal Code provisions. These offences enable law enforcement to address not only international but also domestic human trafficking cases. Human trafficking does not require the crossing of borders or any movement at all. Exploitation is the key element of the offence. Canadian law enforcement has a significantly enhanced ability to ensure that charges - whether under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or the Criminal Code - best respond to the facts of a specific human trafficking investigation.
For specific legislative wordings on S. 7(4.11) and S. 279.01 to 279.04, refer to http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-195.html.
National and international conferences expose participants to best practices, roundtables, discussions, workshops and seminars to raise awareness of human trafficking.
Information pertinent to training for police regarding cases of missing persons/children can be obtained through the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR).
The RCMP's Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre has developed a Human Trafficking Tool Kit available to all law enforcement officers across Canada. One of the main objectives is to inform investigators of the human trafficking legislation.
An informative and detailed "Human Trafficking Reference Guide for Canadian Law Enforcement" is available.
The RCMP's Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre (HTNCC) has developed an online training course for law enforcement that is available through the Canadian Police Knowledge Network (CPKN) at www.cpkn.ca.
The RCMP Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre (HTNCC) in collaboration with the Canadian Police College has developed a Human Trafficking Investigator's Course for Canadian law enforcement.
British Columbia's Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP) developed an on-line training course for front line service providers. It can be accessed by visiting Human Trafficking: Canada is Not Immune.
For more information, visit http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ht-tp/index-eng.htm.
If you or someone you know is being exploited, contact your local police.
If you or someone you know needs help, speak to a trusted adult (family member, teacher or school counselor), or contact a counselor anonymously at the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or online at www.kidshelpphone.ca.
If you wish to report a crime anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Remember, do not take the law into your own hands or get involved in any illegal activities.