The sexual exploitation of persons through human trafficking is a crime that disproportionately affects women and girls. 


Marginalized populations of women – for example, youth and socioeconomically disadvantaged women – are most vulnerable to being targeted. Ontario’s The Learning Network notes:


“Some of the factors that make someone more vulnerable [to trafficking] are social (e.g., gender inequality, history of colonial exploitation, poverty, lack of access to education, restrictive immigration policies resulting in forced migration), economic (e.g., supply and demand for labour in many sectors, low risk – high reward for perpetrators), and political in nature (e.g., wars and other situations resulting in displaced persons/refugees). Results include increased economic vulnerability, isolation and forced displacement, all of which contribute to the push and pull factors underpinning human trafficking”.


  • Learn more about human trafficking from The Learning Network here
  • Learn more about the root causes that inform human trafficking from the Women's Support Network of York Region here.



The Learning Network. Human Trafficking (Issue 2, September 2012). p. 1.

Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives: Ontario’s Sexual Violence Action Plan. 2011. p. 16-17.

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