B.C. Supreme Court Judge Richard Goepel said the Crown didn’t prove that the woman, who was brought to Canada from Hong Kong to work for the man’s family for $500 a month, was subjected to humiliating or degrading treatment, but did prove that the man profited by paying low wages, the National Post reports.
The maximum sentence allowable for such a crime is 14 years in jail, however, 18 months seems high for such a case, says Pain.
“The problem is that there is not much precedent in Canada to compare this particular sentence to,” says Pain. “Human trafficking charges are rarely laid in Canada and I would guess that they have never been laid in circumstances like this.”
Pain says the sentencing may very well set a precedent moving forward. Human trafficking is usually thought of as an “element of an organization that involves the ongoing trafficking of human beings — like the sex trade,” says Pain. “This, obviously, was a very different situation than that. As we become a busier society with an aging population, our need for caregivers for our children and aging parents is growing. As such, the live-in nanny concept involving foreign workers has become very popular.”
Pain says he wouldn’t be surprised to see human trafficking charges of a similar nature happening in the future.