Forced marriage, forced to commit fraud/petty crime

We know there are other types of crimes with the characteristics of human trafficking in Canada. A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and pressure or abuse is used. It is an appalling and indefensible practice and is recognized in Canada as a form of violence against women and men, domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights. Some other characteristics of forced marriage, forced to committing fraud and petty crime are:

  • Pressure put on people to marry against their will can be physical (including threats, actual physical violence and sexual violence) or emotional and psychological (for example, when someone is made to feel like they’re bringing shame on their family).
  • Victims can also experience financial abuse (taking wages or not giving any money).
  • Trafficked persons are sometimes forced to commit fraud to benefit their trafficker. In the largest labour trafficking case to date in Canada, trafficked persons were forced to file fraudulent refugee claims, and in some cases, claims for social assistance benefits/welfare, and to provide the benefits to the traffickers. In this case traffickers also forced the victims into petty crime, such as stealing cheques from mailboxes.