What is Human Trafficking


Defining Human Trafficking:


Article 3(a) of the United Nations Palermo Protocol defines “Trafficking in Persons” as:

The recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of persons by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, 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.

Human Trafficking in Ontario:


Ontario has become a “major hub” for human trafficking in Canada, with most trafficked persons being local underage girls and young women (93%). Over 65% of police reported cases of human trafficking in Canada occur in Ontario. In addition, the RCMP reports that 90% of human trafficking in Canada is domestic, with a disproportionate number of Indigenous women and girls represented.

Difference Between Sex Work & Sex Trafficking / Exploitation:


There is a marked difference between legitimate sex work and sex trafficking / exploitation. The main differentiating factor is consent or control (whether the individual providing sexual services is in control of the circumstances and payment for those sexual services). Consent should always be CLEAR, COHERENT, WILLING, and ON-GOING.

Sex Work Sex Trafficking/Exploitation
Voluntary (by choice or circumstance) Entry Involuntary/Forced
YES CONTROL OVER WORKING CONDITIONS NO
YES CONTROL OVER PROFITS NO
NO CONTROL BY A THIRD PARTY YES
YES OPTION TO EXIT NO