4 of 13 - Who is vulnerable to becoming a victim of domestic or international HT?

Vulnerable groups that are at risk of becoming trafficked, include migrant workers, migrant women, new immigrants, at-risk youth and those who are socially or economically disadvantaged. This latter group might include youth, teenage runaways or those who may have been lured to urban centres or who have gone of their own free will with the hopes of bettering their lives. Recent convictions for human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation demonstrate that Canadian girls and women are often victims.

According to the 2006 Canadian Census, Aboriginal peoples (North American Indian – 1st Nation, Metis, and Inuit) made up 3.8% of the total population, with just over half (51.2%) of the Aboriginal population being female. This is nearly 4% of the total female population in Canada. Although they are only a small % of the population, Aboriginal women and girls are severely over-represented in sexual exploitation and trafficking in comparison to the general Canadian population (Seshia, 2005; Sethi, 2007; Saewyc et al, 2008; Sikka, 2009; Farley, Lynne and Cotton, 2005; Ursel et al, 2007 Barrett, 2010).

In an extensive research report conducted over the period of two years and involving some 181 participants in the sex trade in Vancouver, 31.1% of the women participating indicated they were Aboriginal (Cler-Cunningham and Christensen, 2001,p.1v).