Incidents of human trafficking are occurring in plain sight. That is according to Jessica Brandon, the Director of Programs for the Action Coalition on Human Trafficking in Alberta. Brandon presented at SACPA on Thursday afternoon and says last year the organization helped many victims.
“In 2021, we assisted 55 new clients. Most were actually male at 55 per cent of our clients. 40 per cent were females and about 5 per cent were unknown, gender non-binary, or transgender. The number of new clients is less than normal. We typically have a couple hundred clients every year. This is likely due to the pandemic which really does indicate to us that victims were identified less and experienced those additional vulnerabilities and barriers to care rights. That isolation piece, people just aren’t having that opportunity to reach out, pick up a phone, and to check the internet for services like ours.”
Statistics Canada says that in 2019 police from across Canada reported 511 cases of human trafficking.