MONTREAL -- A new study from the Laurentians suggests that human trafficking in Quebec is a bigger problem than most people realize.

An organization called ‘The Beacon of the Freed’ conducted a study in conjunction with the St-Jerome CEGEP.

Nathalie Khlat, the organization’s co-founder, said they wanted better data about the problem. The study involved 185 people who work in different fields, including police, teachers and youth protection workers.

They filled out a survey, and seven people participated in smaller focus groups. They were asked questions to gauge their personal experience or observations of trafficking—for example, have they ever been in contact with a victim in the Laurentians, and do they know what to do if they are one day in contact?

The findings showed that almost a third of participants have been in contact with at least one victim of sexual exploitation in the last five years, with a total of 315 victims and 80 suspected cases.

But the study also revealed that many didn’t actually know what to do in these situations, didn’t know where to refer the victims, or even how to define exploitation.

Watch the video above to hear more from Nathalie Khlat.