Are you a victim?
Unfortunately sometimes people who come to Canada from other countries as temporary workers are illegally exploited by their employers through forced labour or sexual exploitation. In Canada, this is called “trafficking in persons” or human trafficking. Victims of human trafficking are controlled by their employers and made to provide their labour or sexual services through intimidation, force, sexual assault and threats of violence to themselves, their families or friends. It is a crime to exploit workers and the Government of Canada can help protect you if you think you might be a victim.
You might be a victim of human trafficking if you answer “yes” to any of these questions:
- Are you prevented from leaving your work location or your accommodation on your own?
- Has someone taken your passport or work permit away from you?
- Have you been physically, sexually or psychologically abused by your employer or someone connected to your employer?
- Has your employer or someone representing your employer threatened you or your family?
- Do you fear something bad will happen to you or to a family member if you leave your job?
- Are you living in a group at your workplace, with poor living conditions (for example, you have no private space, you sleep in shared space or in inappropriate conditions)?
- Did you pay high recruitment fees to come to work in Canada?
- Do you feel that you owe money to your employer for bringing you to Canada?
- Has your employer or someone representing your employer asked for a portion of your paycheque back in cash?
Some of the ways that human traffickers control their victims:
- Making promises about employment, travel, living conditions or treatment;
- Promising to provide immigration and travel documents;
- Making offers that sound too good to be true;
- Threatening to harm the worker or the worker’s family;
- Involving workers in criminal activities;
- Moving workers from workplace to workplace against their will or forcing them into prostitution;
- Coaching workers on how to mislead authorities.
Who to contact in case of abuse of person