Trafficking/Human Trafficking

  1. definition
  2. examples and/or illustrations
  3. other useful sources
  4. bibliography
  5. other related terms



1. “The selling or involvement in commercial activity of something for which commercial activity is unlawful”

Search: Trafficking. In Durheim.org retrieved from : http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/T/Trafficking.aspx

2. “To trade or deal in a specific commodity or service, often of an illegal nature”

Search: Trafficking. In Dictonary.com retrieved from:

3. “To buy or sell something especially illegally”

Search: Trafficking. In Merriam-Webster Dictionary retrieved from:

4. “Trafficking in persons is the movement of people across borders or from place to place within a country for the purpose of exploiting them – often using coercion and control.”

Search: Trafficking in Canada. In UNICEF Canada retrieved from:

Examples and/or Illustrations

1.Human Trafficking:

“The illegal movement of people, typically for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation”- oxford dictionary


Human trafficking can be executed on a domestic as well as international level, however it is important not to mistaken human trafficking with human smuggling.  According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police webpage, the difference is that smugglers move people across borders with their consent, and are usually paid for it. Trafficking involves forced movement of a person either internationally or domestically, which usually involves exploitation in some manner.

-Royal Canadian Mounted Police : http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cycp-cpcj/ht-tp/index-eng.htm

Types of Human Trafficking:

a)Sexual exploitation:

Someone forced into sexual practices. (Prostitution, sex slaves)

b)Forced Labor:

Forced to provide labor under less than reasonable circumstances (Child labor, workshops, factory workers)

c)Domestic Servitude:

Working as a caregiver with overly excessive responsibilities.  (Nanny)

-Royal Canadian Mounted Police : http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cycp-cpcj/ht-tp/index-eng.htm

Types of non-human trafficking :

2.Drug Trafficking:

Drug trafficking is a global illicit trade involving the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws” –United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

-United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/drug-trafficking/

It seems that many cases regarding drug trafficking involve those who are in Canada on refugee or asylum seeking status. This could potentially be due to the stresses they incur during the application process, or perhaps the need for acceptance and integration could be playing into their decisions. When researching mental health and psychosocial issues of refugees and displaced peoples, the Cornell Cares Organization clearly stated that people with mental health issues often turn to substance abuse and crime to cope with their struggles.

-Cornell Cares Organization : http://www.cornellcares.org/education/pdf/Psychosocial_Orientaton_10-11.pdf

3.Organ Trafficking:

“Trafficking in organs is a crime that occurs in three broad categories. Firstly, there are cases where traffickers force or deceive the victims into giving up an organ. Secondly, there are cases where victims formally or informally agree to sell an organ and are cheated because they are not paid for the organ or are paid less than the promised price. Thirdly, vulnerable persons are treated for an ailment, which may or may not exist and thereupon organs are removed without the victim’s knowledge”- UN GIFT.

Regardless of whether the removal of an organ is voluntary or involuntary, the removal of organs for commercial purposes is in violation of human rights laws, regulations and protocols against human trafficking.

– UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking:


Other Useful Sources

Trafficking in Persons Report 2010 – Canada.” Refworld. United States Department of State, n.d. Web. 14 June 2010.<http://www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain?page=search&docid=4c1884013c&skip=0&query=forced%20labour&coi=CAN>.

Case Law

2013 FC 232. Jawad v. Canada (Minister of  Citizenship and Immigration)

Wissam Mohammed Jawad had fled Lebanon in 1995 due to difficulties living in a Shia Muslim controlled community as a Sunni Muslim family. He claimed him and his family were harassed and on these grounds he alone came to the United States as a visitor on a work permit. His first offense was committed in 2004 in a case involving drug trafficking in Florida. For this case he was detained by the US immigration officers in 2006. Due to changes in the condition of his home country, he was not deported, however was required to leave the United States, and moved to Canada on probation. Due to a breach of his probation, when he was pulled over for speeding in 2009, he was arrested and was sent to the Canada Border Services Agency, where he claimed refugee status on the grounds that he was still being sought out by the political leader in his home country. Due to his delay in claiming refugee protection, his grounds for having a well-rounded fear of persecution were not considered credible. Also, due to his possession and trafficking charge, he was excluded from the application process as a refugee as he had committed a crime outside of Canada. Jawed appealed the decision of the board to a) exclude him from the application process due to his engagement in drug trafficking, and b) claim his fear of persecution was not credible. The Federal Court dismissed the exclusion from the application process, however upheld the decision of the RAD that the claim was not credible. The court did not feel that Jawad had a risk of persecution in his home country.

2008 FCA 404 . Jayasekara v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

 Ruwan Jayasekara had claimed to be targeted by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and fled to the United States, until in 2004 he was arrested for possessing and trafficking drugs and was asked to leave the United States. After leaving the U.S and claiming refugee status in Canada without reporting to his probation officer, he was arrested and it was found, in an immigration hearing, that a) he was excluded from the application process under section 98 of the IRPA and Article 1F(b) of the Convention as he did commit a non-political crime in the United States that he did not complete his sentence, because he left to Canada without reported to his probation officer, and b) if he were to be included in the application process, his grounds for fear of persecution were not founded under the convention definition of well founded fear of persecution. Jayasekara appealed the decision of his exclusion however his appeal was dismissed as he did commit a non-political crime in America.


“Human Trafficking Legislation.” Department of Justice, Family, Children and Youth Section. Government of Canada, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. <http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/tp/legis-loi.html>

“Human Trafficking and Refugee Protection: UNHCR’s Perspective.” UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2014. <http://www.unhcr.org/4ae1a1099.html>.

Jayasekara v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Refworld. Canada: Federal Court of Appeal, 17 Dec. 2008. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. 2008 FCA 404 <http://www.refworld.org/docid/497f0f052.html>

Jawad v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. Refworld. Canada: Federal Court, 21 Feb. 2012. Web. 26 Oct. 2014. 2013 FC 232.<http://www.refworld.org/docid/4f9011312.html>

Refugee Protection and Human Trafficking : Selected Legal Reference Materials. Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2008. 26 0ct. 2014. PDF.

“Trafficking Resources.” Trafficking Resources. Canadian Council for Refugees, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. http://ccrweb.ca/trafficking-resources

“Trafficking for Organ Trade.” UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking. United Nations, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <http://www.ungift.org/knowledgehub/en/about/trafficking-for-organ-trade.html>.

Other related terms

  • Smuggling
  • Prostitution
  • Kidnapping
  • Child Labor
  • Substance Abuse