Several months ago I received a report from the Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre known as Project SECLUSION. It is a national overview of trafficking operations in Canada and addresses organized crime involvement, transnational associations, source countries, and challenges faced by law enforcement. It is not intended to be a guide on how to investigate human trafficking but serves as a baseline tool in enforcement efforts. Here are some key findings:
- Human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation has been mostly associated with organized prostitution occurring discreetly behind fronts, like escort agencies and residential brothels. These are extremely difficult for law enforcement to detect without proactive investigations.
- Human trafficking suspects usually share similar ethnicity with their associates and have ethnic ties to source countries of their migrant workers.
- Many human trafficking suspects have been linked to other organized criminal activities, such as conspiracy to commit murder, credit card fraud, mortgage fraud, immigration fraud, and organized prostitution, in Canada or abroad.
- Organized crime networks with Eastern European links have been involved in the organized entry of women from former Soviet States into Canada for employment in escort services in the Greater Toronto Area and possibly in massage and escort services in the Montreal area. These groups have demonstrated transnational capabilities and significant associations with convicted human traffickers in the Czech Republic, Germany, Belarus, and Israel.
- Domestic human trafficking victims have mostly been recruited through the internet or by an acquaintance. The victims were groomed, manipulated, and coerced to enter the sex trade.
- Some victims of domestic human trafficking have been underage girls exploited through prostitution in exotic dance clubs and/or escort services. Control tactics employed by traffickers to retain victims in exploitative situations include social isolation, forcible confinement, withholding identification documents, imposing strict rules, limitation of movement, as well as threats and violence.
- African nationals who were identified as victims of human trafficking were trafficked for sexual exploitation outside of and before arriving to Canada.
You can download the entire PDF report here: Â SECLUSION_Unclassified_EN Final version
I am also currently reading another article that specifically focuses on methodology of trafficking research and what approaches Canada must take when measuring this clandestine activity. This will be particulatly helpful for those of you getting into trafficking research. Summary of that coming soon!