(NC) In difficult economic times, being out of work can be extra frightening. Whatever your reason for being in the job market, be aware of warning signs that could lead you into the world of labour trafficking.
While the problem is widespread and can occur in any type of work, industries often linked to forced labour include construction, agriculture, manufacturing and hospitality. People may also be hired as housekeepers or childcare workers, but forced to work long hours for low or no pay.
Migrant workers and newcomers are often targets as they may struggle with a language barrier, lack social support networks and may not be aware of their legal rights as workers.
There are signs that a job may not be what it appears. For example, any legitimate job offer should clearly spell out the wages, hours and expectations. If the offer is written in a language you don’t fully understand, check in with someone who is fluent to be sure you understand all aspects of the offer. You shouldn’t be required to pay fees to be hired.
While you will need to share some personal information when hired by a legitimate employer, such as your social insurance number, your identification documents should always remain in your possession. If an employer demands that you hand over your passport or other personal identification documents, that’s a serious warning sign.
Withholding your pay or using threats of deportation or contacting the police to intimidate you are also common ploys employed by traffickers.
Canada has strict workplace safety laws. You should never be forced to perform a task on the job that would put you or your co-workers at risk of injury.
Find out more information on the potential warning signs of labour trafficking at canada.ca/human-trafficking.