Trafficking in women: the Canadian perspective

Canadian Medical Association Journal
CMAJ July 5, 2005 vol. 173 no. 1
Donna E. Stewart* and Olga Gajic-Veljanoski†

Trafficking in human beings is an international crime, an undesirable by-product of globalization that generates annual profits of US$5–$7 billion.

Trafficking of women for sexual exploitation is the industry's major component. In 2000, the United Nations (UN) acknowledged the magnitude of this criminal activity with the creation of a protocol to combat the problem (a summary is available at

Trafficking entails the denial of human rights, including the right to health. It is essential for physicians to know its extent and the health problems likely to be found in this exploited population.

Author Affiliations *Women's Health Program, University Health Network, Professor, University of Toronto †Women's Health Program, University Health Network, Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.