Labour trafficking in Canada : at the margins of the anti-trafficking efforts
Title: Labour trafficking in Canada : at the margins of the anti-trafficking efforts
Author: RICARD-GUAY, Alexandra
Series/Number: EUI RSCAS; 2016/40; Global Governance Programme-227; Cultural Pluralism
As in many other countries, such as in Europe, Canada has increased its anti-trafficking efforts since this crime was included in the criminal code in 2005. However, trafficking for labour exploitation remains poorly addressed in the current anti-trafficking response. Concerns related to domestic sex trafficking have dominated the landscape and driven the bulk of government actions, leaving labour trafficking side way. This paper reviews the evolution the Canadian governance of trafficking and examines the key challenges in addressing trafficking for labour exploitation. The paper draws on a study conducted in Canada between 2011 and 2013, and which is based on 79 interviews with key stakeholders. One key argument of the analysis presented in this paper is that the Canadian policy has been shaped by national mobilisation around the issue of sexual exploitation of young women, especially adolescent girls as well as Aboriginal women. Further, this framing and conception of trafficking interact with the legal definition of trafficking in the criminal code and the ways in which it is applied. Indeed, the current trafficking offence is less easily understood as applying to situations of labour exploitation. However, labour trafficking is progressively emerging as a matter that deserves public and political interest. Migrants’ and refugees’ rights organisations, as well as civil society anti-trafficking initiatives, play a role in raising awareness about this issue and including this issue in the government actions.
Subject: Trafficking; Severe labour exploitation; Migration; Canada
Type of Access: openAccess