What is Human Trafficking?
Human Trafficking, which is often referred to as “trafficking in persons”, can be summed up to a type of modern day slavery. It involves the recruitment, transportation, harbouring and/or exercising of control, direction or influence over the movements of a person in order to exploit that person, typically through sexual exploitation or forced labour. Under the Criminal Code, as well as the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, human trafficking is considered to be a punishable offence.
Under section 279.01(1) of the Criminal Code, trafficking in persons is committed by those who recruit, transport, transfer, receive, hold, conceal or harbour a person, or exercise control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation. The individual would be guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment.
Similarly, under section 279.011(1) of the Criminal Code, everyone who recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals, or harbours a person younger than 18 years old, or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person younger than 18 years old, for the purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation, is guilty of human trafficking.
An individual who receives a financial or other material benefit knowing it is from trafficking in persons, is guilty of the offence of material benefit of trafficking pursuant to section 279.02(1) and (2) of the Criminal Code.
Related to trafficking in persons, is the offence of kidnapping. Under section 279(1) of the Criminal Code, every person commits an offence who kidnaps a person with the intent to cause the person to be confined or imprisoned, be unlawfully sent or transported out of Canada, or be held for ransom – all of which is against their will.