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Trafficking in persons in Canada, 2014

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Released: 2016-07-12

In 2014, Canadian police services reported 206 human trafficking violations in Canada, accounting for less than 1% of all police-reported criminal incidents.

Over a six-year period from 2009 to 2014, more than 9 in 10 human trafficking victims in Canada were female (93%). Human trafficking victims were also generally young, with almost half (47%) of them aged from 18 to 24 over this timeframe.

The majority of people accused of police-reported human trafficking from 2009 to 2014 were male (83%). Persons accused of human trafficking were most commonly between the ages of 18 to 24 (41%) and 25 to 34 (36%).

According to the Integrated Criminal Court Survey, since the initial trafficking in persons legislation was enacted in 2005, there were 53 completed adult criminal court cases in which human trafficking was the most serious offence. The majority (58%) of these cases resulted in a finding of stayed or withdrawn, while close to one-third (30%) resulted in a guilty finding.

  Note to readers

This release is based on a Juristat article that presents information on police-reported human trafficking in Canada. Characteristics of victims, accused persons and incidents are also analyzed. This report is primarily based on data drawn from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, an annual census of all crime known to and substantiated by police services.

In addition, this article looks at completed criminal court cases related to trafficking in persons. These data are drawn from the Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS). The ICCS collects statistical information on completed charges and cases involving Criminal Code and other federal statute offences, heard in provincial, territorial and superior courts in Canada. Of note, completed criminal court cases related to trafficking in persons that involve more than one charge are represented by the most serious offence. It is important to note that this method of analysis does not describe all completed cases processed by the courts that had a human trafficking charge as part of the case. A completed case is defined as one or more charges against an accused person or company that were processed by the courts at the same time and received a final decision.

As of 2005/2006, all adult provincial and territorial courts in 10 provinces and 3 territories reported to the ICCS. Information from superior courts in Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as from municipal courts in Quebec could not be extracted from their electronic reporting systems and was therefore unavailable. The absence of data from superior courts in these five jurisdictions may have resulted in a slight underestimation of the severity of sentences since some of the most serious cases, which are likely to result in the most severe sanctions, are processed in superior courts.


The Juristat article, "Trafficking in persons in Canada, 2014," (Catalogue number85-002-X), is now available. From the Browse by key resource module of our website, under Publications, choose All subjects, then Crime and justice, and Juristat.

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