Pivoting Practice: Building Capacity to Serve Youth Impacted by Trafficking was developed as an anti-human trafficking toolkit to support CHV staff and partner organizations in serving youth at risk of, currently experiencing, or those who have survived human trafficking and/or exploitation.
Of the thousands of young people who find safety at Covenant House:
- 20% are survivors of human trafficking in the U.S. and Canada
- 31% of our shelter residents in the U.S. and Canada who identify as 2SLGBTQAI+ have experienced trafficking
Sex and labour trafficking are the two dominant forms of human trafficking in Canada.
Talking to youth about trafficking is not an easy task. An effective way to approach this subject with youth is to break down the information you want to pass across into smaller bits and then incorporate this into every day, normal conversations. Another preventative conversation is to talk to youth about the importance of respect and care for their own bodies, in relation to personal space. It is crucial to create a nonjudgmental space, so that youth feel safe to explore topics and to return to the conversation at a later date. From a rights-based approach (where all forms of discrimination must be prohibited, prevented, and eliminated) all youth have the right to safety and the right to information that will keep them safe.
Today, we are going to take a look at the Youth Awareness Material that is at the back of the toolkit. These pages are intended to be printed off and shared with youth as applicable. The topics covered are your rights as a temporary foreign worker in BC, information to help you discern whether or not you are a victim of labour trafficking, the indicators of labour trafficking, and sex trafficking, as well as what constitutes consent, and your rights.
What are your rights as a temporary foreign worker in BC?
In Canada, the rights of all workers are protected by law.
Your employer must:
- Ensure that your workplace is safe — emotionally and physically
- Give you break time, sick days, and weekly days off
- Provide you with a written contract and respect the terms of this contract
- Pay you at least minimum wage ($15/hour) and record extra hours worked (overtime)
- Follow BC Employment Standards rules and expectations of employers
The toolkit contains contact information, should you suspect that rights are being violated.
Indicators of Labour Trafficking
Some of the indicators are:
- Feel pressured by their employer to stay in a job or situation they want to leave
- Owe money to an employer or recruiter or are not being paid what they were promised or are owed
- Do not have control of their passport or other identity documents
- Are being threatened by their boss with deportation or other harm
Are you a victim of Labour Trafficking?
Migrant and low-wage workers are exploited in legal industries such as restaurants, hospitality, trucking, agriculture, construction, live-in caregivers, retail and nail salons.
The toolkit breaks down the actions, means, and purpose of the trafficker to illustrate what the trafficker does, hoe they do it, and why the trafficker does it.
This section also comes with contact information, should you suspect trafficking.
Sex Trafficking in BC
Some Elements of Sex Trafficking
- Abuser will establish a connection
- Abuser will do things to build trust
- Abuser forms a bond with the victim and works to build a false sense of trust
- Abuser will identify and fulfill the needs and dreams of the individual
Isolation and Control
- Abuser created distance between the individual and their loved ones
- Abuser controls as many elements of the victim’s life as possible
Manipulation and Coercion
- Abuser will use gifts given and needs of the victim to keep them coming back
- The trust originally built can make it hard to see the abuse that is now happening
- This is how a victim is manipulated into doing what the abuser wants
- Through conditioning — sex tied to rewards of any kind
- The purpose of trafficking is to exploit a victim by using them to obtain money, power, or status
- Trafficker builds up the notion that the victim owes them, not only in money but emotional currency
Trafficked persons usually know their abusers. Traffickers can be family members, a pimp, an intimate partner, or an employer, to name a few.
What Is Consent?
Only “Yes” is consent. There is a list of circumstances in the toolkit, that some people may misinterpret as consent.
You have a right to general information about:
- victim services available to you
- benefits and financial assistance for criminal injury
- how the criminal justice system works
- your rights to privacy.
You can learn more about your rights, about human trafficking, and about how you can support someone exiting human trafficking, by downloading a copy of the toolkit, available in English and French, from our website.