Dangers of Human Trafficking
April 05, 2021
Alberta RCMP is raising awareness of the dangers of human trafficking and exploitation. Under the Canadian Criminal Code, human trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation or harbouring of persons or the control of their movements for exploitation. Individuals are most commonly trafficked for the purpose of forced labour or sexual exploitation. Together with local RCMP detachments, we create a strong awareness to spread the messages on how to better protect yourself and others from these types of crime.
- Traffickers coerce victims in many ways such as pretending to be potential partners or friends, reaching out through social media, listing advertisements for work opportunities, using threats, kidnapping, and more.
- Perpetrators often use threats, emotional and physical abuse, and isolation to control victims. These forms of abuse make it difficult for victims to report their traffickers, as they fear the risk of repercussions.
- As of 2018, 97% of trafficking victims in Canada were female and 73% were 24 years old or younger. (Statistics Canada, 2020)
- Individuals at greater risk of being trafficked in Canada include Indigenous females, new immigrants, LGBTQ2 persons, those with disabilities, at-risk youths or kids in the child welfare system, and individuals who are socially or economically vulnerable (Government of Canada, 2020).
For more information on human trafficking, Albertans can visit www.notinmycity.ca. #NotInMyCity offers an online course that teaches Canadians more about this crime type and actions they can take against it. Below are the ways you can take action against human trafficking and watch for indications that someone may be at risk.
1. Be aware of the signs - Assess the situation. Use the indicators below to identify anything unusual with the person’s behaviour or appearance. Ask your peers or work supervisors if they spot the same signs as you. It is important to identify multiple signs. Indicators that a person may be at risk of sexual exploitation and human trafficking:
- Are fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, nervous, or paranoid
- Appears malnourished, sleep0depreived or in need of medical care
- Shows signs of ownership, such as tattoos, brands, jewellery used by traffickers to make their property
- Has multiple cell phones
- Has hotel room keys
- Lacks knowledge of a given community or whereabouts
- Displays a dramatic personality change, evasive behaviour, and disengagement from school, hobbies, family, and friends
- Has expensive items such as hairstyles, clothes, excess cash with no known source of income.
- Inconsistencies in information and lack of personal ID.
- Protects the person who is hurting them and is not allowed or able to speak for themselves.
- Is a chronic truant, runaway, or homeless youth.
2. Call 911 for emergency support- Call 211 if you or someone you know needs resources or services in Alberta. For additional resources, call Canada’s Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.
3. Report Suspicious Behaviour – Provide the date and location of the suspected incident. Give a physical description of the people involved. Note the make, model and license plate of any vehicles. Offer a summary of the situation that led to the report.
Awareness and understanding of the seriousness of this crime are extremely important. The more the public knows about human trafficking, the easier it is to detect and prevent. If you suspect human trafficking activity or are a victim, please call 2-1-1 or contact your local law enforcement. Human trafficking can also be reported through Canada’s Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.
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