News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 22, 2022

Statement from Families Minister Rochelle Squires, Minister Responsible For Status of Women, and Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations Minister Alan Lagimodiere on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Today we recognize National Human Trafficking Awareness Day as a time to bring awareness to the presence of forced labour and human trafficking in Canada, and to continue to work toward eliminating it at home and around the world.

Many Canadians are unaware as to just how prevalent human trafficking is in our country. Yet in reality, it is hidden in our communities from coast to coast to coast and can be found throughout nearly all of our supply chains.

Human trafficking refers to labour that an individual is forced to perform through coercion, violence or threats, and may involve forcible confinement or indentured servitude. Victims often suffer physical, sexual, financial, emotional and psychological abuse, and may not know how or where to turn to for support. Most commonly, victims are trafficked for their physical labour or for purposes of sexual exploitation, and both cause trauma that may impact a survivor for the rest of their life. 

Anyone can be the victim of human trafficking, but some are at a higher risk than others are. Women make up 95 per cent of sex trafficking victims, with 43 per cent of them between the ages of 18 and 24. Indigenous peoples are most impacted by trafficking in Canada and this is connected to the high rates of violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls in Canada. In fact, the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and gender diverse peoples is human trafficking at its core.

Newcomers and migrant workers are often exploited for their physical labour, as they may not know their legal rights as a worker in Canada or face a language barrier in accessing support.

We all have a responsibility to work toward ending human trafficking in all its forms and eliminating it will require collaboration between many different sectors.

We urge all Manitobans to learn more about human trafficking in Canada and to encourage those close to you to do the same. Everyone has the right to live free of exploitation and violence, and it is up to all of us to ensure that right is made a reality.


- 30 -