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CANADA (Tier 1)

The Government of Canada fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore Canada remained on Tier 1. These efforts included identifying more possible victims of forced labor; enacting legal amendments that prohibit worker-paid recruitment fees and strengthen protections for temporary foreign workers in Canada; arresting a police officer for alleged trafficking crimes; and expanding prevention measures tailored for at-risk and underserved populations in Canada. Although the government meets the minimum standards, it did not provide comprehensive data on the services provided to victims with government funding nationwide. The government’s efforts to identify victims, provide protections to all victims – particularly forced labor victims – and investigate and prosecute forced labor crimes, remained inadequate. The range, quality, and timely delivery of trafficking-specific services varied nationwide, and service providers reported a shortage of victim services, including emergency shelters and longer-term housing.

  • Vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes, including forced labor and child sex tourism, and seek adequate penalties for convicted traffickers, which should involve significant prison terms.
  • Increase trauma-informed specialized services and provide shelter to all victims, including male victims, foreign national victims, and members of marginalized communities throughout the country, in partnership with civil society.
  • Increase training for criminal justice officials emphasizing the importance of ordering restitution to survivors upon trafficking convictions.
  • Amend the criminal code and Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to include definitions of trafficking that are consistent with international law.
  • Enact a policy to ensure victims are not inappropriately penalized solely for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.
  • Establish a survivor-led advocacy council to assist in policy development, and ensure members are duly compensated for their work.
  • Increase information sharing, cooperation with, and resources for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Indigenous communities and NGOs to address the disproportionate impact of trafficking on those communities.
  • Improve nationwide trafficking data collection, including timely consolidation of data on investigations, prosecutions, and convictions disaggregated by type of exploitation, numbers of identified victims, and assistance provided.
  • Vigorously enforce laws and policies to address trafficking in the federal supply chain.

The government maintained law enforcement efforts. Federal criminal code sections 279.01 and 279.011 criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking, prescribing penalties of four to 14 years’ imprisonment for trafficking adults and five to 14 years’ imprisonment for trafficking children; these penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. Inconsistent with the definition of trafficking under international law, the law did not establish the use of force, fraud, or coercion as an essential element of the crime. Section 279.02 also criminalized receiving financial or any other material benefit from trafficking and prescribed a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment for offenses involving adult victims and a mandatory minimum of two years’ to a maximum of 14 years’ imprisonment for offenses involving child victims. Section 279.03 criminalized withholding or destroying documents to facilitate trafficking and prescribed a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment in cases involving adult victims and a mandatory minimum of one year to a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment in cases involving child victims. Section 286.1 criminalized purchasing commercial sex acts from an individual under 18 years of age and prescribed a minimum penalty of six months and a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) established a separate crime of “human smuggling and trafficking” to mean “no person shall knowingly organize the coming into Canada of one or more persons by means of abduction, fraud, deception or use or threat of force or coercion.” Inconsistent with the definition of trafficking under international law, this provision did not include exploitation as an essential element of the crime.

Government officials at the federal, provincial, and municipal levels investigated and prosecuted trafficking crimes, including criminal code offences committed in their respective jurisdictions, but the federal government did not report comprehensive law enforcement data at each of these levels. Federal officials prosecuted suspects charged under the IRPA. The federal government did not maintain a national database. The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system included provincial and municipal police data but did not disaggregate between sex and labor trafficking. The UCR data was available in July for the previous calendar year; the government did not report investigation data from police forces nationwide for the current reporting period. For 2021, police reported investigating 552 incidents that led to charging 251 individuals with human trafficking crimes. The government provided updated figures for 2020, with police investigating 553 incidents and charging 266 individuals. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) opened investigations into 72 cases, including two involving forced labor and 70 involving unspecified forms of trafficking for the period of April to November 2022; the government did not report comparable data from 2021. Between April and November 2022, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) identified and referred to law enforcement 150 suspected forced labor cases within the temporary foreign worker program, an increase from 115 suspected cases referred in 2021 and 45 between April and December 2020. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which conducted administrative investigations of potential human trafficking cases among immigration and refugee cases, conducted 21 new large-scale investigations involving allegations of human trafficking in 2022, compared with 25 in 2021.

The government reported partial data on prosecutions and convictions. Between April 2022 and March 31, 2023, authorities prosecuted at least 93 suspects and convicted at least seven traffickers in cases led by the RCMP. Federal, provincial, and municipal authorities prosecuted 245 suspected traffickers and convicted 100 traffickers between January 1, 2021 and December 11, 2021. In 2019, authorities prosecuted 185 suspects and convicted 50 traffickers. Courts imposed sentences ranging from eight to 18 years’ imprisonment for convicted child traffickers; in 2020, courts imposed sentences between seven years and eight years, six months’ imprisonment for convicted traffickers. The government reported courts acquitted some defendants of trafficking charges but convicted them under other sections of the criminal code. The government reported authorities prosecuted the majority of trafficking cases at the provincial level, although it did not provide complete data on provincial-level prosecutions and convictions.

Some provinces and municipalities, including Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, maintained specialized anti-trafficking law enforcement units and prosecutors. In May 2022 the Government of Nova Scotia appointed a second dedicated prosecutor for human trafficking offenses which also included 328,000 Canadian dollars ($242,250) to add a legal assistant, paralegal, and training resources to combat human trafficking. NGOs noted a continued imbalance in the government’s anti-trafficking efforts, with limited attention to and understanding of forced labor. Coordination challenges among federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal authorities limited the effectiveness of anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, particularly on cases that spanned multiple jurisdictions. The government’s lack of a coordinated data collection system made it difficult for authorities to collect reliable, timely, and consolidated data to assess efforts and respond to trends.

The Canadian Police College provided a human trafficking investigators’ course that trained police on understanding the scope of trafficking crimes, fostering trust between law enforcement and victims, and overcoming challenges in investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) provided an online introduction to a human trafficking course completed by law enforcement officials, including front-line police who had limited knowledge of or experience with trafficking investigations. Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provided an online training course on human trafficking to new recruits. The government’s training academy for new police recruits included trafficking awareness in its training curriculum. The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada regularly made presentations during the human trafficking investigator courses at the provincial and federal levels to educate law enforcement officials on using financial intelligence in human trafficking investigations. The RCMP’s operational manual, with updates finalized in 2022, provided guidelines and procedures for investigating human trafficking cases. The specialized human trafficking unit of the Montreal Police Force trained Montreal Customs and Border Protection Preclearance officer staff on best practices, a victim-centered approach, interview procedures, and standardized data collection and information sharing. The government reported police cooperated with foreign law enforcement officials on several open investigations during the reporting period. In May 2022, authorities charged an RCMP officer with trafficking for allegedly recruiting a victim from Mexico under false pretenses and subsequently exploiting the victim in domestic servitude in Canada.

The government maintained protection efforts. The government did not report data on the number of victims identified by provincial and municipal police in 2022. RCMP officers identified 58 victims in 2022, compared with 63 victims in 2021. Identified victims included 33 women, six men, 18 girls, and one boy. In addition, ESDC identified 150 potential forced labor victims among temporary foreign workers, an increase from 115 potential victims identified by ESDC in the previous reporting period. CBSA identified four potential forced labor victims in two cases. The government provided UCR data from 2021, showing that federal, provincial, and municipal police identified a total of 382 victims. The government provided several handbooks, guidelines, and other resources to front-line officials – including police, justice practitioners, and border officials – to enable them to proactively screen for trafficking indicators and appropriately assist potential victims among the populations they served. RCMP officers followed a procedure to refer trafficking victims to services, while referral procedures for other front-line institutions varied by jurisdiction. Public Safety Canada’s (PSC) National Office of Victims served as a resource to victims of any type of crime, including by providing information over email and maintaining an online directory of services.

Provinces and territories were primarily responsible for the delivery of victim services, with the federal government providing funding to service providers. The government did not report complete data on victims receiving government-funded services. The federal government allocated 1.16 million Canadian dollars ($859,790) to Justice Canada’s Victims Fund to support trafficking victims and groups at high risk of exploitation, compared with 1.34 million Canadian dollars ($989,360) in 2021. Through this fund, the government provided funding to organizations implementing nine projects to improve services for trafficking victims and develop and deliver training for law enforcement officers and service providers in the provinces and territories. Implementing organizations reported providing services to approximately 894 victims and vulnerable individuals through government-funded projects between January and November 2022, compared with approximately 744 victims and vulnerable individuals assisted during the same period in 2021. Under the national strategy, the Department of Women and Gender Equality Canada continued implementing a nearly 14 million Canadian dollars ($10.34 million) initiative funding 42 projects working to prevent and address trafficking and support victims and at-risk or underserved populations.

Models for service provision varied across the country in response to provincial demographics, priorities, and budgets. In some provinces, victims accessed government services through police or the courts, while other provinces offered victims more comprehensive individual support. Victims could typically access emergency housing, medical services, psychological care, safety planning, and court preparation and accompaniment. Some jurisdictions offered additional legal services to victims of sexual offences, including sex trafficking, and many provinces and territories provided counseling services beyond the duration of a trial. Assistance was available for both Canadian and foreign victims, as well as male and female victims, but service providers reported they primarily served Canadian women and girls.

Several provincial governments funded or implemented trafficking-specific programming. The Government of Alberta continued funding a multisectoral coalition, which included survivors, to provide services to victims and coordinate a provincial response to trafficking. In October 2022, Albertan provincial authorities announced 20.8 million Canadian dollars ($15.36 million) over four years to implement Alberta’s action plan to combat trafficking. This included dedicated funding for two specialized victim support coordinators, embedded within law enforcement teams, to assist trafficking victims from initial identification throughout the entirety of an investigation. Alberta also trained staff in a provincial office assisting temporary foreign workers to recognize and respond to indicators of trafficking. The Government of Ontario continued implementation of a five-year, 307 million Canadian dollars ($226.74 million) strategy to combat trafficking that included funding to 27 community-based projects, including survivor-led programming and services designed to meet the needs of Indigenous victims. Ontario also funded two pilot programs pairing child protection workers with police officers to collaborate on the front lines of victim identification, assistance and referral, and investigations. The Government of Québec continued implementing its 2021-2026 action plan against sexual exploitation, including sex trafficking, allocating 150 million Canadian dollars ($110.78 million) to 37 measures over five years. In Manitoba, police and NGOs continued to assist victims through a collaborative response team and to implement a prevention strategy funded by the provincial government. In November 2022, Manitoba passed a law and amended two existing laws to increase police access to information about customers in hotels and other accommodation during human trafficking investigations; expand the government’s authority to apply for a protection order prohibiting an individual from contact with a child; and require hotel staff, taxi drivers, and others to report suspected cases of human trafficking to police. The Government of Nova Scotia provided 1.4 million Canadian dollars ($1.03 million) to implement a provincial approach to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation. This funding included initiatives to strengthen support for Black and Indigenous victims and reopen a resource center for Indigenous women who were vulnerable to exploitation. The Nova Scotia government also funded a youth safe house with the capacity to provide specialized trafficking victim services and 24hour support to two residents at a time for up to three months, as well as followup services after victims left the shelter. The Government of British Columbia administered a grant program using civil forfeiture proceeds to support community-led projects on crime prevention and victim assistance, including organizations working on trafficking issues. In April 2022, Saskatchewan enacted a law enabling victims to initiate civil lawsuits and seek protection orders against traffickers. In November 2022, the province announced allocation of 150,000 Canadian dollars ($110,780) toward a one-year pilot program offering secure housing and services to trafficking victims in an NGO-run shelter. Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Ontario conducted specialized training on identifying and responding to human trafficking for front-line service providers; in Ontario, authorities collaborated with survivors in the development and delivery of the training.

NGOs operated shelters nationwide for victims of violence, mostly women and their accompanying children; the government funded some shelters, but only a few provided accommodations specifically for trafficking victims. Service providers reported there was an insufficient supply of emergency shelters, medium- to long-term housing, and specialized medical and psychological services to meet the needs of trafficking victims; they also reported some available shelter options were not adequate for victims to receive appropriate, trauma-informed care. As part of the national strategy, PSC initiated a process to develop guidelines on providing traumainformed care to sex trafficking and labor trafficking victims.

Canadians who were victims of trafficking crimes that occurred outside Canada were eligible to receive financial assistance for travel, psychological services, and other expenses through the Victims Fund, as well as assistance from Canadian consular officials abroad, though the government did not report providing this assistance to any victims during the reporting period. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) officials had procedures to proactively identify potential trafficking victims working in diplomatic households in Canada, including through verifying payroll records and conducting random and systematic interviews with domestic workers in diplomatic households, but did not report identifying any victims during the year. The government provided alternatives to removal for foreign trafficking victims who faced retribution or hardship in their home countries. Immigration officials could issue foreign trafficking victims a temporary resident permit (TRP) allowing them to remain in Canada under regularized immigration status, receive access to healthcare, including psychological services, and in some cases apply for a work permit. Officials issued short-term TRPs for up to 180 days or long-term TRPs for three years. Authorities did not require victims to participate in an investigation or prosecution to be eligible for a TRP, and victims could apply directly without a referral from law enforcement or service providers. The government reported immigration authorities reviewed trafficking related TRP applications on a priority basis. Between January and October 2022, the government issued 138 TRPs to foreign trafficking victims and their dependents; by comparison, the government issued 65 TRPs to foreign trafficking victims and their dependents between January and November 2021. During the same period in 2022, the government issued 263 work permits to foreign trafficking victims and their dependents, a significant increase from 46 such permits issued in 2021. Foreign victims included 120 individuals from Mexico, six from Guatemala, two from the Bahamas, and one person each from Colombia, Guinea, Haiti, Hong Kong, Italy, Jamaica, Morocco, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Ukraine.

Canadian federal law provided victims and other witnesses participating in trials various protections, many of which were mandatory for children and available to adults at a judge’s discretion. These protections included video testimony, the presence of a support person during testimony, a ban on publishing names of or releasing identifying information about witnesses, and the closing of courtrooms to the public. Authorities did not report how frequently courts afforded these protections to trafficking victims during trials. The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights guaranteed access to a complaint mechanism for victims whose rights may have been denied by a federal institution. Through the Victims Fund, the government funded organizations providing training on trauma-informed practices for criminal justice officials. NGOs reported a lack of victim-centered methods retraumatized some victims during court proceedings. Courts could order traffickers to pay restitution to victims under Canadian criminal law, and the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario had laws allowing trafficking victims to seek civil redress. Some provinces had compensation or financial benefits programs for crime victims. The government did not report whether any victims received restitution, sought civil redress, or were awarded compensation through provincial programs in 2022. The government did not have a law or policy protecting all victims from being inappropriately penalized solely for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Authorities reported making such charging decisions on a case-by-case basis considering the severity of the alleged crime, as well as possible harm to the provision of victim support; trust between victim and authorities; or efforts to hold traffickers to account. Canada’s 2014 Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act – which criminalized the purchase of commercial sex acts, profiting from sex acts provided by another person, and other related crimes – gave immunity from criminal liability to individuals who provided commercial sex acts.

The government increased prevention efforts. PSC continued to lead the government’s federal interagency task force to combat trafficking, which oversaw implementation of federal anti-trafficking measures under the strategic framework of the government’s National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking 2019-2024. The National Strategy included 57.22 million Canadian dollars ($42.26 million) in funding over five years and 10.28 million Canadian dollars ($7.59 million) annually after 2024. It created a governance structure bringing together senior leaders and working-level experts from relevant government agencies, and established a whole-of-government approach for coordinating anti-trafficking efforts with related concerns including online sexual exploitation of children, gender-based violence, and the disproportionate impact of violence on Indigenous women and girls and LGBTQI+ individuals. The government reported incorporating an assessment of systemic inequalities into the design, delivery, and implementation of various initiatives funded under the National Strategy. During the reporting period, the government convened meetings of the working-level Human Trafficking Taskforce, the Directors-General Steering Committee, a meeting of the Assistant Deputy Ministers Roundtable, and relevant government departments strengthened processes for sharing information during meetings and on an ongoing basis. Statistics Canada published a report in December 2022 examining trends in police-reported data from 2021. Although the National Strategy called for the establishment of a survivor-led advisory committee, the government did not create it during the reporting year. To facilitate coordination and collaboration among federal, provincial, and territorial governments, PSC chaired meetings of the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial (FPT) Trafficking in Persons Working Group, and Justice Canada led the FPT Coordinating Committee of Senior Officials on Human Trafficking.

In September 2022, the government enacted amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations that increased protections for temporary foreign workers in Canada. The amendments prohibited employers from charging or recovering recruitment fees from most workers, including through third-party recruiters; established a requirement for employers to provide an employment agreement; and increased employer responsibility for providing access to healthcare. The amendments also added a prohibition on employer retaliation against workers who file complaints, provided greater authorities for officials to screen new employer applications for compliance, and strengthened government monitoring and oversight mechanisms for temporary foreign worker programs. The government introduced a new code of professional conduct for licensed immigration consultants, including conditions for recruitment services, strengthening its oversight framework in this sector.

The government provided funding to an NGO to operate a national human trafficking hotline, available through telephone and online formats, that was available nationwide 365 days per year and accessible in more than 200 languages. Hotline staff maintained a national referral directory to connect victims to more than 900 local service providers for emergency, transition, or long-term support services. In 2022, the hotline received thousands of contacts and provided service referrals to at least 300 trafficking victims. The hotline connected some callers to law enforcement, but the government did not report the number of investigations initiated from calls to the hotline.

In 2022, the government provided more than 4.5 million Canadian dollars ($3.32 million) to 11 community organizations across the country working to increase temporary foreign workers’ knowledge of their rights, support them in navigating the impacts of the pandemic, and assist them in exercising their rights while living and working in Canada. Through this funding, the government supported activities tailored to the needs and experiences of this vulnerable population, including provision of services and information in workers’ first language; events and services during hours workers were likely to be available; free transportation or virtual or phone-based options; outreach visits to workers in isolated locations; and legal services. The government permitted temporary foreign workers on valid employer-specific work permits and who experienced abuse or were at risk of abuse in the context of their employment in Canada to apply for an open work permit; such permits allowed a worker to leave an abusive situation and change employers without losing status to work in Canada. The government reported immigration officials had guidelines for processing potential victims of trafficking who sought open work permits, though the government did not provide statistics on the number of trafficking victims or other vulnerable migrants that applied for or received open work permits. The government implemented a policy during the pandemic to allow additional time for foreign nationals to renew their temporary immigration status, and to permit some work permit applicants to work legally while their applications were pending; these measures may have mitigated trafficking risks among some foreign nationals who would have lost their immigration status during the pandemic. Between April and November 2022, ESDC investigated 3,293 allegations of potential abuse within the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and referred 150 to law enforcement for investigation of possible trafficking crimes.

The government expanded support services for young adults aging out of the child welfare system, a population highly vulnerable to trafficking. It increased funding across all provinces and Yukon Territory to extend support services to First Nations youth between 18-25 who were formerly in the care system; these services included activities to provide access to financial support, education, safe and stable housing, and physical and mental wellness. Ontario’s provincial government funded positions for nine “youth in transition” personnel who offer specialized support for trafficking survivors and at-risk persons between 16-24 years old, who are in or leaving care facilities. Under the National Strategy, PSC invested more than 2.4 million Canadian dollars ($1.77 million) in 19 different organizations providing trauma-informed, culturally-relevant support services for at-risk youth and survivors.

Building on findings and recommendations from a previously commissioned risk assessment of human trafficking in the government’s supply chains, the government contracted research into international due diligence obligations and compliance monitoring frameworks to inform future ethical recruitment policies for government procurement and contracting. Public Services and Procurement Canada launched a request for information to its suppliers, seeking insight into existing awareness and activities related to human trafficking, in order to inform outreach on supply chain risks and procurement policies. The government conducted stakeholder engagement, including input from the public, to inform potential legislation aimed at eliminating forced labor from the global supply chains of Canadian businesses.

The government continued implementing a five-year national awareness campaign to educate the public on misperceptions surrounding human trafficking, identifying warning signs, and how to report suspected cases to the appropriate authorities. Using advertisements on social media, search engines, news websites, radio, in cinemas, and through in-person events, the government refined its methods for targeting outreach to match the media consumption patterns of children and young adults, Indigenous women, and parents. The government conducted outreach to new immigrants and non-English speakers through advertising on websites in Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Arabic, Urdu, Tamil, Vietnamese, and Ukrainian. PSC launched a national tour of its second experimental marketing exhibit to educate the public on warning signs of human trafficking and how to seek assistance. The RCMP provided online nationwide training on human trafficking to school resource officers and distributed presentations for use in local communities. In response to an influx of vulnerable Ukrainian refugees seeking sanctuary in Canada, the RCMP created a safety pamphlet available in Ukrainian, Russian, French, and English, with information on recognizing the signs of sex and labor trafficking and available resources for seeking help. With cooperation from a local partner, IRCC provided training to overseas immigration officers posted at several Canadian missions in Africa on screening for trafficking while processing visa applications.

GAC increased efforts to prevent sexual exploitation through the delivery of foreign assistance, including by funding an initiative to strengthen the capacity of Canadian civil society organizations to prevent and respond to abuses abroad; incorporating relevant funding clauses in financial arrangements throughout the Department; and training staff on preventing sexual exploitation within the delivery of foreign assistance and responding to abuses if they arise. Canada funded a UN entity to mainstream a set of principles on preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers throughout UN peacekeeping policy, guidance, and training. Through its foreign assistance, Canada supported numerous governments with projects aimed at combatting trafficking.

The government made limited efforts to combat international child sex tourism by its citizens; some efforts included distributing publications warning Canadians traveling abroad about penalties under Canadian law for engaging in child sex tourism and directing personnel in its overseas diplomatic missions to report suspected cases to local law enforcement and INTERPOL. The government, however, did not report any data on child sex tourism investigations, prosecutions, or convictions. The government participated in a program with authorities in the United States to limit the entry into Canada of sex offenders convicted in the United States, but it did not report whether it denied entry to any sex offenders during the year. The government made efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts through public messaging and awareness-raising activities.

As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Canada, and traffickers exploit Canadian victims abroad. Women and children from Indigenous communities, migrants and new immigrants, LGBTQI+ persons, persons with disabilities, at-risk youth, runaway youth, and youth in the child welfare system are at high-risk for trafficking. Local experts noted links between the disproportionately high rates of violence committed against Indigenous women and girls and the severe risks of trafficking this population faces. The government reported ongoing impacts of the pandemic continued to exacerbate trafficking risks among marginalized populations and impede their access to support services. Traffickers lure girls and young women, including some who are not socially or economically disadvantaged, into deceptive romantic relationships or through offers of economic opportunity, and exploit them in sex trafficking. Traffickers exploit Canadian victims within and across the country and sometimes abroad, mainly in the United States. Traffickers exploit foreign women, primarily from Asia and Eastern Europe, in sex trafficking in Canada. Sex traffickers exploit victims in hotels and short stay rentals, illicit storefronts disguised as spas, massage parlors, strip clubs, and private residences. Trafficking operations increasingly use online payment methods and investment tools in efforts to conceal financial transactions. The Government of Canada reported traffickers increasingly use various forms of technology to exploit victims, widen their reach, and connect with other perpetrators. Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine are vulnerable to trafficking in Canada. Traffickers exploit legal foreign workers from Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa in forced labor in a variety of sectors, including agriculture, construction, food processing, restaurants, hospitality, and domestic service. Migrant workers in the caregiving and agricultural sectors are at the highest risk of forced labor due to language barriers, isolated worksites, and limited access to protections. Some foreign nationals are exploited by traffickers with ties to organized crime networks in victims’ home countries. Canadians travel abroad to purchase sex acts from child victims in other countries, and foreign nationals purchase sex acts from child victims in Canada. Traffickers in Canada operate individually and via family-based connections; some are affiliated with street gangs and transnational organized crime.

U.S. Department of State

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