Police-reported human trafficking in Canada, 2010 to 2020

Release date: June 9, 2022
Infographic: Police-reported human trafficking in Canada, 2010 to 2020
Description: Police-reported human trafficking in Canada, 2010 to 2020

Human trafficking involves recruiting, transporting, transferring, holding, concealing and exercising control over a person for the purposes of exploitation. It often involves sexual exploitation or forced labour.

According to police-reported data, between 2010 and 2020:

  • Number of incidents of human trafficking: 2,977
  • Number of detected victims of human trafficking: 2,278
  • Percentage of incidents involving international trafficking: 30%
  • Percentage of incidents detected in major cities: 86%

The true scope of human trafficking in Canada is underestimated. It is difficult to detect and measure, and it often involves victims and witnesses in vulnerable situations who fear their traffickers and distrust authorities. Compared with sexual exploitation, data on forced labour in particular are limited.

Almost all detected victims of human trafficking are women and girls.

Gender of victims

  • 96% Women and girls
  • 4% Men and boys

Age of victims

  • 25% 17 years and younger
  • 45% 18 to 24 years
  • 29% 25 years and older

Accused persons

  • 79% Men
  • 16% Women
  • 5% Youth aged 12 to 17

91% of human trafficking victims knew their trafficker.

Table 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 1. The information is grouped by Accused–victim relationship (appearing as row headers), Percent (appearing as column headers).
Accused–victim relationship Percent
Intimate partnerNote 1 31%
Casual acquaintance or friend 31%
Criminal, business or other relationship 27%
Stranger 9%

43% of human trafficking incidents involved other crimes. Of these:

  • 58% involved offences related to the sex trade
  • 36% involved offences related to physical assault
  • 25% involved sexual assault or other sexual offences

Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics, Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: