Risk Factors to Being Human Trafficked

Push and Pull Factors for Human Trafficking

Risk Factors / Vulnerabilities

Anyone can be trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, however, there are certain traits that, statistically speaking, can make individuals more vulnerable or at risk to becoming trafficked. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Being Female
  • Young – aged (on average) 12-22 *Please note women of any age can be the victims of human trafficking, however women in this range face an increased risk
  • Actively using social media
  • From historically marginalized communities: Aboriginal communities, racialized communities
  • History of domestic or intimate partner abuse, or witnessing this in the home as a child
  • History of child sexual abuse, child abuse or neglect
  • Poverty and economic instability
  • Housing instability: history of homelessness; running away from home, placement in group homes or foster care

These are not the only factors that place an individual at risk for human trafficking; but traffickers commonly target individuals who are more socially or financially vulnerable than others.


Government of Ontario (2014). Helping trafficked persons: Resource handbook for service providers. Online Training Initiative to Address Human Trafficking. 1-116.


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