Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 12:25 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Canada

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 11 June 2003
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Canada, 11 June 2003, available at: [accessed 31 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Canada (Tier 2)

Canada is a destination for persons trafficked into prostitution, and to a lesser extent forced labor, with victims coming primarily from China, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Russia, Korea, and Eastern Europe. Traffickers also use Canada as a transit point for moving victims from these countries to the United States.

The Government of Canada does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Canada has a broad social safety net, comprehensive legal structure, and coordinated enforcement. Implementation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which took effect in June 2002, should enhance the government's uneven efforts to prosecute traffickers and impose tough sentences.


Canada attempts to prevent trafficking before victims reach Canadian shores. The Canadian International Development Agency contributes anti-trafficking funds to several developing countries. Immigration officers are stationed in key source countries to identify illicit migration and stop traffickers before they depart for Canada. A new policy requiring that Canadian minors be issued their own passports, rather than being included in a parent's passport, is intended to protect children from traffickers posing as parents.


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act prohibits trafficking and prescribes tough punishments for traffickers. Task forces comprised of federal, provincial, and municipal law enforcement officials have investigated illegal prostitution and smuggling rings and freed some trafficking victims, but there have been few convictions of traffickers, due in part to deportation of witnesses. Canadian and US law enforcement have excellent cooperation on migration and border control with several successes in breaking up illicit migration operations.


Provincial governments provide protection and basic services such as shelters, health care, and legal aid for all victims of violence and sexual abuse, including trafficking victims; however, there are no specific efforts to work with and rehabilitate trafficking victims. Some provinces have recently enacted legislation allowing victims to sue pimps and sex abusers for the costs of treating the victims. Foreign trafficking victims are eligible to apply for refugee status under gender-related persecution guidelines, but often they are deported.

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