Canadian Legal Context

In 2005, Canada added three new offences to the Criminal Code to deal specifically with human trafficking, either international or domestic, involving either adults or minors (under age 18).

Canadian Criminal Code1) Criminalize the acts of human trafficking (Section 279.01: Trafficking in Persons.)

  • Recruit, transport, transfer, receive, hold, or hide a person, or exercise control, direction or influence over a person’s movements for the purpose of exploiting or facilitating the exploitation of that person

2) Benefit materially from human trafficking (Section 279.02: Material Benefit.)

Anyone who benefits materially or financially from human trafficking can be charged with this offence, but only if they knew the benefit resulted from human trafficking.

3) Withhold or destroy a person’s travel or identification documents, such as a passport or visa, for the purpose of trafficking

If the person is experiencing international trafficking, they can apply for a Temporary Residency Permit, under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This will give the trafficked person up to 180 days in Canada and access to health care, counselling, a work permit and provincial income assistance in some cases. The person is not required to testify in order to obtain a Temporary Residency Permit.