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Reasearch project

The issue of human trafficking is complex and often clandestine. For this reason, the Beacon of the Freed and the Cégep de Saint-Jérôme worked together to carry out a two-phase research project on human trafficking.

Phase 1            Phase 2

Rapport de recherche - Couverture.PNG
Research report on human trafficking in the Laurentians by the Beacon of the Freed and the Cégep de Saint-Jérôme
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Participation in this research will expand current knowledge and improve services for victims and survivors of trafficking. It will also allow participants to express themselves on their life experience. Overall, this project will allow to initiate the development of intervention, prevention, awareness and education programs adapted to the specific realities of this clientele. 

To consult the documents for phase 1
Phase 1
Phase 1: Human trafficking in the Laurentians

Objectives of phase 1:

The general objective is to document the reality of human trafficking in the greater Laurentians region from the point of view of the interviewees working in organizations likely to be in contact with the victims of trafficking.

This phase was used to:

  • Determine the level of knowledge of the environments;

  • Establish the profile of victims;

  • Determine the needs of the victims from the point of view of the workers;

  • Make an inventory of the services offered and missing;

  • Identify possible solutions to better meet the needs of workers and victims

Research highlights 

Workers from organisations likely to be in contact with victims identified 315 victims of human trafficking in all Laurentian territories and the presence of 80 other victims was suspected. (Page 14 of the research report)

The victims identified are mainly women (64.8%) or underage girls (30.8%) living in a situation of sexual exploitation (89.8%). They are mainly Canadian citizens (91.8%) who live in the region, and 62.2% of them have been exploited in the territory. (Page 16 of the research report)

Nearly 42% of respondents consider their knowledge of trafficking to be low or very low, and nearly half of the respondents have not received any training in this regard. (Page 19 of the research report) 

Phase 2
Phase 2: still in progress

Objectives of phase 2:  

The main objective of this project is to explore the realities of victims or survivors of trafficking in order to better understand the influence of the different systems that surround them and to offer them more targeted support.

This phase will be used to:

  • Better understand the experience of victims or survivors of exploitation;

  • Explore available and missing support services;

  • Better understand the elements related to the exploitation situation and the exit process;

  • Identify recommendations for improving support for victims/survivors.

This research received a grant from the Research and Transfer Assistance Program - Social Innovation Part (RTAP-SI) of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education of Quebec and financial support from the Cégep of Saint-Jérôme. The Beacon of the Freed received financial assistance under the Regional Outreach Support Fund from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Terminology related to the notion of exploitation used in the research

Human trafficking

Means « the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. » (United Nations, 2000). 



“Sexual exploitation generally involves a situation, context or relationship where an individual takes advantage of a person's state of vulnerability or dependence, or the existence of unequal power relations, with the aim of using that person's body for sexual purposes, for the sake of benefit.” (Secretariat for the Status of Women, 2016).

Exploitation for work purposes or labor trafficking

Refers to any work or service, in the public or private sector, required of an individual under the threat of direct or indirect repercussions such as physical violence, psychological threats or non-payment of wages. Constraints can also consist of the loss of rights or privileges such as promotions, transfers or even access to a new job (ILO, 2016).



"The exploited person is in the grip of the exploiting household, their freedoms are reduced and their living conditions are often contrary to human dignity.” (ILO, n.d.). This is akin to exploitation for the purpose of work, but has the particularity of being carried out in a home.

Forced begging

Refers to the obligation for a person to practice begging under the coercion of an exploiter who takes advantage of it. Begging can take many forms, such as asking a foreigner for money on the pretext of being poor or for health reasons, offering artistic performances or collecting recyclable materials (European Commission, 2012; National Agency against Human Trafficking, 2009).

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