Indigenous women and girls are over-represented as victims of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking in Canada. There is a critical link between missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and sex trafficking in Canada.
Traffickers and buyers have a specific market and target extremely vulnerable Indigenous women and girls. Traffickers and buyers are more violent towards Indigenous women, and Indigenous women are criminalized more often.
The root causes contributing to this increased vulnerability can include the ongoing impacts of colonialism on Indigenous societies, the legacies of residential schools and their inter-generational effects, family violence, childhood abuse, poverty, homelessness, systemic race and gender-based discrimination, lack of education, lack of support networks, rural/remote living, and substance addictions.