The Trafficked project sprang from an ongoing Globe and Mail investigation into missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. In the course of that reporting, the issue of human trafficking surfaced as a factor that puts some aboriginal women at even greater risk of disappearing or being killed.
The Globe and Mail spent three months investigating the subject, dedicating one reporter full-time to delve into who the victims are, how the crime is committed, what the long-term impact is and how the federal government has responded.
Trafficking is an under-reported crime and Canada lacks a comprehensive system of data collection. So many of the statistics were gathered piece by piece, from different law enforcement agencies and social-service providers in the country. The RCMP provided some data on the number of cases it has recorded (where human-trafficking-specific charges have been laid) and a breakdown of cases that are now before the courts, though these stats don’t include ethnicity.