Montreal has become a centre for human trafficking. Many of the victims lured by pimps are being sold elsewhere through the province and the country. The facility for a criminal to make money by selling the body of a teen is very attractive and less risky than selling drugs. It’s a lot more difficult to identify a pimp than to catch a guy walking with drugs in his clothes.
The good news is that pimps are now specifically in the sights of the Montreal police who are tightening the screws more than ever before and their efforts are paying off. The Montreal police have had encouraging results since a new team of 12 policemen, whose mandate is to combat human trafficking, has been gradually established since 2015.
This new team is joined by anti-recruiting/luring team announced last April by Quebec City. Police officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted police, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), Gatineau, Québec City, Laval and Longueuil have also joined in.
Having specialized groups who concentrate only on human trafficking makes it possible to carry out many more investigations, but also to spend more time with the victims getting their trust and convincing them to press charge.
The problem with human trafficking crimes is that under the law it is a crime against the person. This means that the victim must press charges in order to pursue the investigation and ultimately make an arrest. I personally think the laws should be changed so that human trafficking crimes and domestic violence crime where the victim is threatened, abused, terrified and brainwashed doesn’t have to be the one to come forward and press charges.
I am pleased that our justice system is putting more emphasis on these type of crimes, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
What would you do if you saw a young girl being groomed or recruited? Would you stand up for her? Would you stop it from happening? ABC has a program called “What would you do” They hired actors to see what unsuspecting people would react.