Legislation and Government Action
Criminal Code of Canada, Section 279
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Section 118
Canada’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (2012)
Nongovernmental Resources and Training
British Columbia Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons (OCTIP) – Human Trafficking: Canada is Not Immune online training.
Labour Exploitation and Human Trafficking (2014) – Created by the West Coast Domestic Workers’ Association (WCDWA) for the use of Live-in Caregivers and their networks of support in the hopes of preventing and combating labour exploitation.
Canada’s Human Trafficking Hotline
The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24/7 to connect victims and survivors with social services, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as receive tips from the public.
The hotline uses a victim-centered approach when connecting human trafficking victims and survivors with local emergency, transition, and/or long-term supports and services across the country, as well as connecting callers to law enforcement where appropriate.
The hotline is operated by The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, a Canadian non-governmental organization and registered charity. The hotline is not a government entity, or immigration, investigative or law enforcement agency.
The foundational policies of the hotline include:
- Do No Harm – In making its assessments of calls and consequent reporting decisions, the hotline follows the policy of “do no harm” or “do least harm” and understands that reporting or not reporting a situation may result in harm. Great care is taken to ensure that guidance on decision-making is expert in nature and accounts for the possibility of unintended consequences.
- Individual Consent – The hotline recognizes that information provided to law enforcement can lead to increased investigations and prosecutions, deter future trafficking, and help victims safely exit situations of human trafficking. Whenever possible, the hotline endeavours to speak directly with victims to discuss the various reporting options and receive explicit consent to report the case. At all times, the safety of the individual is paramount.
- Confidentiality – The hotline strives to abide by the highest ethical standards regarding confidentiality. All communication with the hotline is confidential to the extent permitted by the law. The hotline does not release identifying information about a caller, including to law enforcement or service providers, and will not confirm an individual has/has not called the hotline, unless given explicit consent to do so by the caller. The hotline will inform appropriate authorities of situations that reference the suspected abuse of a minor, potential imminent harm to a caller or others, or where the law requires the hotline to report.
- Non-Discrimination – The hotline will serve all individuals who reach out for assistance. The hotline abides by the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The hotline may report or refer a caller to local emergency services (i.e. 911 in the provinces of Canada and Yukon, and applicable number(s) in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut) if the hotline believes the caller or others are in imminent danger or experiencing an emergency requiring immediate intervention.
As a mandatory reporter, the hotline may refer cases of suspected child abuse to law enforcement. If a caller references a potential case of human trafficking, a hotline supervisor will be brought into the discussion to determine the next steps. Reporting to law enforcement is done on a case-by-case basis.
The hotline’s mission is to respond to victims and survivors by providing them with access to critical supports and services they need to get help and stay safe. The hotline also works to educate and equip the anti-trafficking community, stakeholders, governments and other partners with the knowledge and tools necessary to combat trafficking.