Definition of “Trafficked Person” in Canada

Resolution number: 
November 2008
  1. Canada is a party to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons;
  2. The Protocol includes an internationally agreed definition of trafficking in persons;
  3. The definition in existing Canadian law relating to the offence of trafficking in persons (in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and in the Criminal Code) is not as broad as the internationally agreed definition;
  4. More particularly, the definition of “exploitation” in the Criminal Code requires that the trafficked person be afraid for their safety or the safety of someone known to them;
  5. Trafficked persons may not feel or demonstrate subjective fear as required by the Criminal Code;
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Formally adopt the international definition of trafficking in persons from the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons;
  2. Urge the government of Canada to meet its obligations under the Protocol by ensuring that its law and procedures fully reflect the internationally agreed definition;
  3. Urge the government of Canada, in particular, to amend the Criminal Code to remove the requirement of subjective fear on the part of the trafficked person as a proxy for the motivation of the trafficker.