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Human Trafficking
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God reveals himself throughout the Bible as a God of justice, a God who hates injustice and who sees and hears the suffering of the oppressed: “he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted” (Psalm 9:12b, NIV). God commands his people to “seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:17-18, NRSV), calling us to be his agents, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to demonstrate Christ’s love for the entire world.

The Issue


Trafficking in persons is a serious crime that involves:

  • the movement of people across or within borders;
  • threats or use of force, coercion and deception; and exploitation, whether forced labour, forced prostitution, or other forms of servitude.

Trafficking in persons is not migrant smuggling. Smuggled migrants are usually free once they arrive at their destination; trafficking victims are not.

Trafficking in persons has been described as a modern form of slavery. It is a serious human rights violation and is reported by the United Nations to be the fastest growing form of transnational organized crime.

The UN estimates that up to one million people are trafficked throughout the world each year. While anyone can be a victim, women and children are reportedly the primary victims.

Identifying victims of trafficking can be difficult. The victims may appear to be illegal migrants when intercepted at the border. Those involved in prostitution may appear to be willing participants. Victims may be too terrified to contact the police. Victims may not be able to ask for help because many may not speak either English or French. Traffickers often control their victims by threatening to harm them or their families in their countries of origin should victims attempt to flee or contact authorities in Canada.

Human trafficking is the third largest criminal industry in the world, outranked only by arms and drug dealing. The United Nations estimates that trafficking in persons generates $7 to $10 billion annually for traffickers.
The number of people trafficked each year is estimated by most experts to be in the millions. Given its current growth rate, which is fuelled by its high profitability, low investigation rate and low prosecution rate, human trafficking is expected by some to take over drug trafficking as the second largest criminal industry in the world within the next decades.

Issue: Human Trafficking

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Related Issue: Global Poverty
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Related Issue: Prostitution
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