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5 Common Types of Traffickers in Canada

5 common types of traffickers in Canada from recent statistics:

5 common types of traffickers in Canada include the boyfriend/Romeo trafficker, family members, peers/friends, drug dealers, and organized crime/gangs. Knowing the common types of traffickers helps us to better understand the ways in which relationships are used as a method of control and manipulation by traffickers. These statistics are from the 2021 report put out by the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking entitled “Human Trafficking Corridors in Canada”.

Statistics over the years have continued to show that the boyfriend, often known as the “Romeo” trafficker or pimp is typically the highest reported type of trafficker. These individuals have lured and groomed their victims, who typically tend to be young girls and women, with love-bombing, showers of gifts and compliments, attention, and fake promises of a happy future together. By creating this “too good to be true” honeymoon phase with the victim, when the trafficker begins to manipulate them and take away the things they once provided for them, it creates a cycle of abuse where the victim is walking on eggshells and doing anything the trafficker asks of them to keep themselves as safe and stable as possible. 

Of particular note is the statistics for traffickers who are family members of the victim- these cases are particularly difficult as often the trafficked person is very young and may not understand until later in life that the abuse they suffered from family members could be classified as trafficking.

It is also important to note that these different percentages do not add up to 100 since these categories are not mutually exclusive. For example, a trafficker may be a boyfriend to the survivor, but they may also be acting as their drug dealer or be a part of a larger organized crime ring. Always keep in mind that these are reported statistics, meaning there are many other instances that we do not have data for.


5 Common Types of Traffickers in Canada: Boyfriend ("Romeo") Trafficker (55%), Organized Crime/Gang Member (49%), Family Member (24%), Peer/Friend (6%), and Drug Dealer (14%). Note: These are stats from Human Trafficking Corridors in Canada report (2021) from the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking. Stats reported by service providers. Responses do not add to 100% because categories are not mutually exclusive.

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