Fact Sheet
Key Federal Anti-Human Trafficking Milestones




Canada ratifies the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (TIP), especially Women and Girls (UN TIP Protocol, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime), the first legally binding instrument with an internationally recognized definition of human trafficking. Countries that ratify this treaty must criminalize human trafficking and develop anti-trafficking laws in line with the Protocol's legal provisions. These also include protection and assistance to victims of human trafficking.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, comes into force on June 28. It enacts an offence that prohibits trafficking of persons into Canada (section 118).

Canada attends as an observer State the first meeting of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, aimed at increasing collaboration in countering TIP in the Asia-Pacific Region. Canada participated in following Ministerial meetings of the Process.


Canada participates in the first United Nations Conference of the Parties to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime,aimed at improving the capacity of States Parties to combat transnational organized crime and to promote and review the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols, including the TIP Protocol. Canada has participated in these biennial meetings since this date.

Canada attends the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) first Conference of the Alliance Against Trafficking in Persons to share best practices and lessons learned with its OSCE partners in countering the crime and protecting victims. Canada has participated in yearly Alliance meetings since.


Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons), comes into force on November 25. It enacts three offences specific to trafficking in persons (sections 279.01, 279.02 and 279.03).


Ministerial Instructions authorize the issuance of temporary resident permits to foreign nationals who are survivors and victims of human trafficking.

Canada participates in the Organisation of American States (OAS) first Meeting of National Authorities against Trafficking in Persons to prevent and counter trafficking in persons in the Western Hemisphere. Canada continues to participate in these OAS meetings.


The Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime creates its Working Group on the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Girls. Canada participates in the first Working Group meeting in 2009 to exchange best practices and lessons learned with international partners on strategies and actions to counter TIP and protect victims. Canada continues to participate in annual meetings of the Working Group.


Global Affairs Canada creates its Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program, which funds projects to enhance the capacity of other requesting States' law enforcement and legal institutions to prevent, counter and prosecute cases of transnational organized crime, including TIP.


Launch of two national awareness campaigns on human trafficking led by Canadian Crime Stoppers and the RCMP.

Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offences involving trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen years) comes into force on June 29. It enacts a child-specific trafficking in persons offence with mandatory minimum penalties  (section 279.011).

Public Safety Canada (PS) publishes the 2010 Winter Games Analysis on Human Trafficking.


Government of Canada launches its four-year National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.

Bill C-310, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in persons) comes into force on June 28. It clarifies the meaning of "exploitation" (section 279.04) and enables Canadian citizens or permanent residents who commit any Criminal Code trafficking in persons offence outside the country to be prosecuted in Canada (subsection 7(4.1)).

Global Affairs Canada implements a robust outreach program to reduce the risk of trafficking in persons in diplomatic households in Canada


PS hosts consultations with regional stakeholders on human trafficking.

PS publishes the Local Safety Audit Guide: To Prevent Trafficking in Persons and Related Exploitation.


PS organizes a National Forum on Human Trafficking to examine trends and build national capacity to combat this crime.

Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, comes into force on December 6. It clarifies the Criminal Code's trafficking in persons offences and imposes further mandatory minimum penalties, including where the victim is a child.

The RCMP launches 'Operation Northern Spotlight', an outreach operation where police work with at-risk communities and social workers to identify and provide support to individuals who are suspected of being forced into the sex trade or at high risk of being trafficked.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) announces a comprehensive overhaul of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which includes stronger enforcement and tougher penalties, as well as improved protection for foreign workers.

To follow-up on a commitment made at the North American Leaders Summit in 2014, Canada participates in its first Canada-United States-Mexico Trilateral Working Group on TIP. The three countries continue to organize meetings since.


PS leads its first Workshop on Human Trafficking to advance activities identified in the National Action Plan. The Workshop aimed to identify emerging issues and opportunities and enhance the connections between stakeholders and policy makers.

Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Trafficking in Persons publishes A Handbook for Criminal Justice Practitioners on Trafficking in Persons.


PS and the Canadian Women's Foundation hosts a second National Forum on Human Trafficking.

Statistics Canada releases its first Trafficking in Persons in Canada, 2014 Juristat. The report provides analysis of the incidence of human trafficking in Canada between 2009 and 2014.

The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC)'s Project PROTECT launches a unique public‐private partnership that targets human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation by focusing on the money laundering aspect of the crime.


The Action Plan to Combat Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking during the Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 launches.

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) launches its new Feminist International Assistance Policy, which focuses on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by addressing the unacceptably high rates of sexual- and gender-based violence experienced by women and girls.

It's Time: Canada's Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence is the Government of Canada's response to gender-based violence. It builds on current federal initiatives, coordinates existing programs and lays the foundation for greater action on gender-based violence.


Canada hosts the G7 and adopts the Toronto Principles on Trafficking in Persons.

The Government of Canada commits to the establishment of a national human trafficking hotline through Budget 2018 investments  of $14.51 million over five years, and $2.89 million ongoing.

PS hosts regional and national consultations on Canada's Way Forward to End Human Trafficking.

ESDC launches a two-year pilot Migrant Worker Support Network (MWSN) in British Columbia for temporary foreign workers (TFWs) dealing with potential mistreatment or abuse.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) issues a new Policy Notification on the Ethical Procurement of Apparel. This new policy requires that suppliers self-certify that they and their first-tier suppliers comply with a set of international human and labour rights standards. These include: freedom from child labour, forced labour, discrimination and abuse, as well as access to fair wages and safe working conditions.

Canada and its Five Eyes partners jointly launches the Principles to Guide Government Action to Combat Human Trafficking in Global Supply Chains.

Additional funding for human trafficking-related projects becomes available under Justice Canada's Victims Fund. The amount available for anti-human trafficking projects increases from $500,000 annually to $1 million annually.

Statistics Canada releases its second Trafficking in Persons in Canada, 2016 Juristat.


The Government of Canada issues an official response to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights report entitled Moving Forward in the Fight Against Human Trafficking in Canada in December.

The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking launches the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline.

Certain amendments enacted by former Bill C-452, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (exploitation and trafficking in persons), which received Royal Assentin 2015, are brought into force on June 21 by Bill C-75, An Act to amend the Criminal Code, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and other Acts and to make consequential amendments to other Acts.

The Government of Canada launches new whole-of-government National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, as committed in Budget 2019.


Canada joins Alliance 8.7, an inclusive global partnership committed to achieving Target 8.7 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Target 8.7 calls for immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

Fifteenth anniversary of first enactment of Criminal Code trafficking in persons offences.

Parties to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime adopt a Review Mechanism to assess the implementation of the Convention and its Protocols, including the TIP Protocol. Canada is invited to fill out its first self-assessment questionnaire in 2022.


PS launches a National Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign. The campaign challenges public misperceptions around human trafficking and encourage Canadians to get the facts about the crime.

Statistics Canada releases its third Trafficking in Persons in Canada, 2019 Juristat.

PSPC updates the Code of Conduct for Procurement to include expectations for suppliers regarding human rights and labour standards.

PSPC conducts a risk assessment of human trafficking, forced labour and child labour in procurement supply chains which identified goods procured by PSPC that are at a higher-risk of having been made with exploitative practices.
PSPC launches and implements new anti-forced labour contract clauses to ensure that it can terminate contracts where there is credible information that goods have been produced in whole or in part by forced labour or human trafficking.


PS presents its second Annual Report on the progress of Canada’s National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking 2020-2021

Statistics Canada releases its fourth Trafficking in Persons in Canada, 2020 Juristat

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