Canadian police have located and freed more than 40 Mexican nationals who were living under conditions of ‘modern slavery.’
Canadian police have located and freed more than 40 Mexican nationals who were living under conditions of “modern slavery” and who were presumably forced to do jobs consisting of cleaning rich-owned vacation homes in Ontario.
“Last night I went to bed a slave. This morning I woke up a free man,” told one of the victims to CTVnews.
The workers, who were taken from their quarters to the vacation homes were then forced to clean, allegedly being paid less than US$50 a month for their work, according to La Jornada.
Ontario and Barrie police began an investigation on the matter during 2018 after receiving multiple public complaints.
The victims, between ages 20 and 46, were taken to Canada by human traffickers who promised them work and educational opportunities, according to the investigation.
Not only were they forced into degrading conditions and exploited for their work, they were also charged fees for their transportation and lodging.
Ontario Police characterized the conditions in which the migrants were living in as “squalid” and the trafficking operation as “modern slavery.”
“This is very disturbing (....) It is inconceivable that this was taking place in our community,” said Barrie Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood.
An investigation into two people connected to the Hotel and vacation home cleaning scheme is currently underway. No penal charges have yet been placed upon any of the suspects.
The migrants have been freed, provided with proper food and shelter, and they are currently being employed legally at a resort, according to Greenwood.