Featured Resource: Human Trafficking and the Law: How to Protect Trafficked Persons

This guide for legal practitioners provides information on how legal practitioners, especially immigration and refugee lawyers can recognize the signs of human trafficking, understand the provisions against human trafficking in Canadian law and the various legal remedies for supporting trafficking survivors, as well as understand best practices for respecting professional ethics. This resource seeks to improve access to legal services and to justice for trafficked persons and those at risk.

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Trafficking happens in Canada.  But Canadian law does not protect trafficked persons.

Currently, women, children and men who are trafficked into or within Canada often fall between the cracks in the system.  Detained and deported, they may be treated more as criminals than as victims of a crime.

Legislative amendment is needed to bring a permanent and fundamental change in policy so that trafficked persons in Canada are protected.

Goals of the Canadian Council for Refugees' campaign

  • Permanent and fundamental change in policy so that trafficked persons in Canada are protected and their human rights respected.

  • Increased public awareness of the reality of trafficking in persons in Canada.

Guiding Principles

The CCR has identified the following principles to guide responses to trafficking:

  • Non-punitive: Measures must not penalize trafficked persons
  • Human rights: Measures must be guided by and be respectful of the human rights of trafficked persons
  • Economic rights: Measures must be guided by and be respectful of the economic rights of trafficked persons
  • Supportive services: There is a need for supportive services for trafficked persons
  • Gender and race analysis: A gender and race analysis should be brought to any consideration of trafficking issues
  • Inclusive of trafficked persons: Discussions about trafficked persons should include trafficked persons themselves

The CCR and efforts to protect trafficked persons

CCR Pan-Canadian Anti-Trafficking Network

    The CCR supports NGOs across Canada in their work on trafficking by:

    • Creating opportunities for information-exchange across the country;
    • Developing tools needed by organizations;
    • Making accessible useful resources to support outreach and awareness-raising on trafficking and to support services to trafficked persons.

    The CCR anti-trafficking network is guided by an Anti-Trafficking Committee. Learn more about the CCR pan-Canadian anti-trafficking network.

    Database of Human Trafficking Resources

    This database contains tools for raising awareness about trafficking and providing services to trafficked persons. Resources included are both Canadian and international. Explore the database of trafficking resources.


    Awareness-Raising and Policy

    The CCR also supports protection for trafficked persons through effective policies and practices and through dialogue with government. To this purpose, the CCR has adopted a Proposal for legislative amendment to protect trafficked persons and developed resources to support this proposal. Through this proposal the CCR is calling for measures to adequately protect the rights of trafficked persons in Canada through legislative amendment. The CCR also urges Canadians to educate themselves about the realities of trafficking and to take action in favour of the rights of trafficked persons.

    Learn more about the CCR's efforts to protect trafficked persons across Canada.

    Proposal for legislative amendment to protect trafficked persons

    The CCR's Proposal to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act would provide temporary and permanent protection to trafficked persons. Call on Parliamentarians to turn this proposal into law.


    Useful resources:

    Proposal for Legislative Amendment to Protect Trafficked Persons (also available in htm), 2 pages. 

    Take action, 2 pages.

    Frequently Asked Questions about the Proposal for Legislative Amendment to Protect Trafficked Persons, 4-page booklet.


    Protecting Trafficked Persons in Canada, pamphlet.

    Order form for resources (pdf).