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More About Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is considered "modern-day slavery". It involves the exploitation (taking advantage) of another human being. Human trafficking is abuse.

The trafficker makes the person do sex work or other work and exploits them for their own benefit.

The trafficker controls the victim either by force, threats, manipulation, or by making the victim dependent on them.

Someone who is being trafficked gets very little control over their situation. That means they don't get to decide when they work, how often they work, or the type of work they do. Often, the working conditions are dangerous. The trafficker keeps all or most of the money for themselves and makes the victim feel like they cannot escape. 

Human trafficking is illegal across the world, but still exists in every country, including Canada.

Types of Human Trafficking


The trafficker makes someone do sex work (having sex with people, making porn, or stripping). This form of human trafficking is most common among pre-teens and teens in Canada.


The trafficker makes a person do work, such as faming, housekeeping, being a nanny, working in restaurants, etc. 


Work occurs under unsafe conditions for extremely long hours and little to no pay.


The trafficker makes someone sell their kidney, part of their liver, or other organ. This is more common in low-income countries, but Canadians who need organ transplants sometimes "buy" organs from international traffickers.

FACT: From 2009 to 2018, there were 1,709 police-reported incidents of human trafficking in Canada 

Examples of Sex Trafficking

Example 1

Alexis met a boy online, Stu. He was a bit older than her, but he was so sweet and charming, buying her thoughtful gifts and making sure she had what she needed. After a while, he told her he wanted to run away together, but that they needed to earn some money quickly. He told her he had an idea. She agreed to "spend a night" with a man he knew, and the man would pay her for it! Alexis quickly found out that the man expected sex from her. Stu told her it was okay, that it was the fastest way to make cash. Soon, Alexis was having sex with up to ten guys a day, every day. Stu refused to allow Alexis to take a day off, even when she was tired or sick. When she tried to leave, Stu told her that he knew her family's address and would hurt her younger brother if she didn't do exactly what he said. Besides, in spite of some problems, Alexis loved Stu. He was the only one who really understood her. How could she leave?

More About Traffickers

Traffickers are people who manipulate or force another person to perform sex work or other types of work, while they keep or control the money the other person earns.

Traffickers are all kinds of people. Often, they are someone the victim knows.​

FACT: 92% of victims know their trafficker.

Most traffickers are men. They may tell you that they're your boyfriend, or make you feel that you are in a relationship.​​​

FACT: 1/3 of victims were trafficked by their boyfriend, girlfriend or other romantic partner.

Most traffickers may be older than you, but they can be the same age.

FACT: 81% of accused traffickers in Canada from 2009 to 2018 were men. 

Some traffickers are women. They may tell you that you two are friends, that you’re girlfriends, or that they want to be like a “big sister” to you.​

Grooming is when a person gains your trust, with a plan to take control of you or abuse you later. It can look different for everyone, and doesn't always follow the same steps in the same order, but it often follows a pattern like this:

1: Gain Trust
  • They show a lot of interest in you

  • They get to know everything about your life:

    • your family

    • your dreams

    • your fears

  • The goal: Get your trust, learn your “weaknesses" (so they can better control you later)

2: Offer What You Need
  • They figure out what you want or need: 

    • a place to stay

    • freedom from your parents

    • money

    • affection, love

  • Then, they give you those things

  • The goal: Make you dependent on them, physically, emotionally or psychologically

3: Isolation
  • They encourage you to end friendships and other relationships

    • They may say that your friends and family don’t care about you

    • They may encourage you to keep secrets

    • They may encourage you to skip school or stop seeing your friends or family

  • The goal: Make it hard for you to escape (because you will feel like you have no one else to go to)

​4: Manipulation
  • Manipulation is when they give you love and attention, then suddenly take it all away ​and start ignoring you or being mean to you

    • This may make you worry that you did something wrong

    • This may make you want to make them happy with you again

5: Exploitation
  • They will get you do sex work. They may tell you that:

    • you owe them

    • it's the only way to get your "dream life"

    • it's only for a little while

    • it's not a big deal

    • you have to

  • The goal: Get you to start working, so that you make money for them

Step 7: Maintaining Control​
  • Sometimes, there are threats:

    • They may threaten you, your friends, your pet, or your family

  • Sometimes, they control where you go or who you talk to:

    • Not letting you see other people

    • Checking your phone

    • Demanding to know where you are all the time

  • Sometimes, there is abuse:

    • They may switch between being kind, sweet and loving; then violent or threatening; then apologetic

    • Or they may remain threatening and violent

    • Emotional abuse: saying things that hurt your feelings, or make you feel ugly or stupid

    • Physical abuse: pushing, hitting, choking or otherwise physically hurt you

    • Sexual abuse: making you do sexual things when you don't want to

  • The goals:​ To make you feel that...

    • there is no way out

    • you should be afraid of them

    • you deserve to be treated badly

    • they are the only person who cares about you

    • if you left, you or someone you care about will be hurt or killed

    • you have no where to go to for help (this is a lie- see our "Get Help" page)

Grooming and Trafficking

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