The Trafficked: How sex trafficking works in Canada – The Globe and Mail
The attraction: Sex trafficking may be organized crime’s fastest-growing business and one of the largest criminal enterprises in the world, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation. The International Labour Organization has pegged annual profits from forced sexual exploitation at $99-billion (U.S.)
Although a low-risk, high-profit enterprise to criminals, the ILO and many others consider it a form of modern-day slavery.
The victims: Although primarily female, targets also include trans people and youth of any race or gender, often with histories of being marginalized, abused or isolated.
The market: In the past, some cities have had “kiddie strolls,” but the marketing of girls has mostly moved online, to classified-advertising websites such as the notorious Backpage.com.
The ads are for escort services but use code words that suggest a girl is underage, such as “fresh,” “innocent” or “new to scene.” Some simply say “young.” Also, girls can be listed by ethnicity (“native”) and “available 24/7” is one tipoff they’re being trafficked.
The payoff: In 2013, the RCMP reported that one sex-trafficking victim can generate between $168,000 and $336,000 a year – for a pimp who may well run an entire “stable.” Last year, Toronto police cited the example of one young woman who had brought in $90,000 in three months.