What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is when someone is recruited, transported, transferred or held for the purpose of exploitation.

It can happen within a country or across international borders. Human trafficking can happen to women or men, girls or boys. It can involve forced labour, sexual exploitation, forced marriage and organ removal.

Signs that you may be a victim of human trafficking include:

  • Your passport and other identity documents have been taken away from you.
  • There are restrictions on what you can do or where you can go.
  • You are working very long and/or unusual hours or are forced to be available to work all the time.
  • You owe a large or increasing debt to recruiters or your employer and you are unable to pay it off.
  • Your employer or recruiter has threatened you or your family.
  • The job you are doing is not the job you were promised.
  • You have been promised a job and when you came to Canada, you found out that it did not exist.
  • You receive very little or no pay for your work.

Most victims of human trafficking experience more than one of these conditions.

What should I do if I have been trafficked?

If you are in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

Other organizations that may be able to help you include:

Temporary Resident Permits

If you are a victim of human trafficking, you can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). You can make an appointment at a Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office to apply for this permit.  IRCC officials will interview you to decide if you are eligible. Generally, your application is more likely to be successful if it includes a police report. You do not have to testify against your trafficker in order to get help or to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit.

Applying for a Temporary Resident Permit can be a complicated process.  You may want to get help with your application.  

For More information

  • Crime Stoppers - An organization works that with the police, media and the community to collect anonymous tips about crimes. Calls are free and confidential.
  • Frequently Asked Questions on Human Trafficking - Information about different aspects of Human Trafficking. From the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Last updated: September 19, 2023 4002682