The Current

Human trafficking of Inuit women and girls has become an open secret in Canada's North

A consultant for the Department of Justice says trafficking of Inuit women and children has become an open secret in the North, and it's time Canada takes action.
A new report says Inuit girls and women are being trafficked to the south but the problem remains hidden because communities are so remote. (Andre Forget/AFP/Getty Images)
"I'm from the North. I've been with the RCMP or the police force for over 22 years now, growing up with a lot of local people. I hear a lot of what's going on -- girls travelling south, kind of losing connection with their own families; families trying to get in touch with their loved ones and, very difficult to do so. It's a very strong suspicion. Definitely with young adults, teenagers and young adults, there's definitely something happening." - S gt Yvonne Niego of the RCMP in Iqaluit

Sgt Yvonne Niego is right... something is happening to Inuit women and girls. A new report funded by the Federal Department of Justice alleges that some Inuit families are selling their children.

The report is the first to collect stories from survivors of sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Canada's North.

  • Helen Roos is the principle researcher of the report on trafficking in Nunavut. She is also the president of Roos-Remillard Consulting Services. Helen Roos was in Gatineau, Quebec.
  • Rebecca Kudloo feels human trafficking in Canada's North is a serious issue and needs to be addressed by the Inuit community. She is the president of Pauktuutit, a national non-profit organization representing all Inuit women in Canada. Rebecca Kudloo was in Baker Lake, Nunavut.

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This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson, Peter Mitton and Naheed Mustafa.


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