Trafficking in Canada: more victims, few accused

majorite-victimes-traite-personnes-jeunesCases of trafficking are rising sharply, according to a Statistics Canada study. But even if the number of violations increases, some cases are heard by the courts. And they rarely lead to convictions, deplores the criminologist Maria Mourani.

The various police forces across Canada reported 506 trafficking offenses between 2009 and 2014, of which only 206 in 2014. The crime rate doubled between 2013 and 2014 and even increased fivefold from 2009. Statistics Canada attributes the increase to “improved reporting methods, detection and investigation.” The Criminologist Maria Mourani also sees a sign of growing awareness of police forces to this question. “They understood that even when the operation is done inside the country is of trafficking. When girls are sent from Quebec, Ontario, is trafficking, “she said.

Young women at risk


Victims of trafficking are mostly young women. More than 9 out of 10 victims were female. Close to half of the victims were aged 18 to 24, while the fourth was minor.


Conversely, the majority of perpetrators were young men. More than 8 in 10 were male. Three quarters (77%) were aged 18 to 34 years.

Sexually exploited victims


Most victims of trafficking are exploited sexually. In almost two thirds of cases, a prostitution offense was also observed. Statistics Canada also note that you should not mix the cases of trafficking with human smuggling, although it may happen that some are stuck in such a gear.

thirty %

Nearly a third of victims of trafficking are abused. The study noted that they “have suffered injury due to the case of trafficking reported by police.” In most cases, it was considered minor injuries caused by physical violence.

Few court case


Statistics Canada notes that the causes of human trafficking in the courts are limited. From 2005 to 2014, Statistics Canada has identified only 53 cases completed.

thirty %

Not only the causes are rare, but convictions are even more so. Less than a third of the charges resulted in a conviction. More than half (58%) of the charges have instead resulted in a shutdown of the process or were withdrawn.

Reverse the burden of proof

The Criminologist Maria Mourani waiting impatiently for the Trudeau government punishes Bill C-452, which it presented when she was NDP MP. When passed, this legislation will reverse the burden of proof on those accused of trafficking, she says. The criminologist believes that police and prosecutors will multiply the number of charges and convictions with these changes. “I can bet that the next Statistics Canada report will show a sharp rise in convictions,” she said.

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