If you think you are or might have be trafficked or suspect that someone else has been trafficked there are certain steps recommended by the department of Justice Canada.
1. 9-1-1 Emergency Services
Press 9-1-1 on a telephone in any city in Canada and you will be immediately connected to the police, fire department and ambulance service. The system automatically tells the person answering the phone where you are. You don’t have to say anything. You can tell the person what language you speak. There may be someone there who can talk to you in your language. If you can speak some English or French, try to explain why you called. The person who answers your call will send the police, fire or ambulance service to where you are immediately.
2. Emergency Shelters
The Salvation Army and other organizations run emergency shelters in most cities and towns. These are safe places where you can go right away if you have nowhere to live or if you are in danger and need a safe place to stay. You can find the telephone number in the telephone book, at the library or from the police. Police or NGOs should be able to refer you to a shelter with good security.
3. Doctor and Hospital Care
If you are sick, you can go to a doctor’s office or hospital. In some cities there are health clinics where you can get medical care without answering any questions about who you are or what work you do.
4. Community Help
Many groups in Canada help people in trouble. There are rape crisis services, houses for abused women, organizations for newcomers to Canada, legal clinics for people who cannot afford a lawyer, special services for victims of crime and religious groups that provide many different support services. People from your home country who now live in Canada may get together to support and help each other. You can find out how to reach these groups at a community centre, at a public library, in the phone book or by asking people.
5. Ensuring Fair Working Conditions
Canadian laws require employers to pay employees a set minimum wage and to provide some other job benefits. A Ministry of Labour office can give you information and assistance if you are not being paid fairly, do not get time off or have to work in dangerous conditions.
Note: The first priority is making sure you/the trafficked person is safe and free from danger. Next steps involve getting appropriate services, and – if necessary – making sure that you/the trafficked person have legal immigration status in Canada (i.e. through a Temporary Resident Permit). T.R.P.s are applied for through your local Citizenship and Immigration Canada office.
Recognizing Trafficking Survivors
A victim of trafficking may look like many of the people you help every day. You can help trafficking victims get the assistance they need by looking beneath the surface for the following clues. Many of the indicators for trafficked persons are similar to those identifying women who are being abused by their partners. Discovering these indicators does not necessarily mean that the person has been trafficked, but it may be the case:
- Evidence of being controlled
- Evidence of an inability to move or leave a job
- Bruises or other signs of battering (both physical and non-physical)
- Fear or depression
- Newcomer to Canada/Non-English speaking
- Lack of passport, immigration or identification documentation