Last week, police services across Canada participated in a two-day blitz focusing on the growing concern that young women are being forced to participate in the sex trade.
Operation Northern Spotlight involved 26 police services on January 22 and 23, 2014 and was centered around hotels and motels on major thoroughfares in more than 30 cities and towns across the country.
More than 330 young women, some as young as 15 years of age, were interviewed. Police found some were being forced to perform sexual acts, multiple times a day, for paying male customers.
Although the Criminal Code section refers to this activity as "Human Trafficking," the public may better understand this issue as "sex slavery." Although many of the women appear to be making their own decisions to participate for financial gain, investigators found several teenagers and young women were being forced to perform through threats of violence, physical intimidation, drug dependency and other forms of coercion. Part or all of the proceeds from the sexual encounters were kept by their adult male controller or pimp.
Police Services will continue to monitor any incidents of "coerced participation" in hopes of assisting any woman involved in the sex trade business against her will.
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