Patrol of the Québec police have freed a woman 18 years old two suspected pimps, on the morning of the day of the Year, in a Quebec city hotel.
“When one speaks of trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation is when a person is forced by violence or threats,” says Cyndi Paré, a spokesperson for the Service de police de la Ville de Québec (SPVQ).
The department of Justice of Canada described human trafficking as “a modern form of slavery”.
In this case alleged, the facts date back to the morning of the 1st of January. Around 10h35, a individual that the police would rather not identify, called 9-1-1, “for a person who seemed to be in distress” at a hotel in Sainte-Foy, says dr. Paré.
On the spot, the police have arrested the 24-year old man and 21-year old woman for prostitution and for trafficking in persons, as well as uttering threats, conspiracy, theft and breach of undertaking.
The two suspects have been detained and interviewed by the investigators of the unit for the sexual exploitation of minors in the module of the major crimes of the SPVQ. They could appear on Thursday at the palace of justice of Quebec.
The victim and the two arrested individuals do not reside in the city of Quebec, but in another city of the province.
The SPVQ tries to verify if the alleged pimps have other victims and continues his investigation.
Strong increase in
The cases of trafficking in persons — also known as “trafficking in person” or “human trafficking” — are in a strong rise in the country, according to the most recent Statistics Canada study on the subject.
In 2016, the rate of trafficking in persons for 100,000 inhabitants has been almost eight times higher than in 2009. During these eight years, canadian police have said 1099 trafficking offences.
Statistics Canada estimates that this increase is due to a real growth in the number of cases of trafficking in persons, but also to the training or the allocation of additional resources to the investigations on the trafficking of persons.
The creation of new subsections of the criminal Code which allow the police to better declare and classify these offences could also have had an impact on the rise.
In Canada, Ontario had two-thirds of the offences of trafficking in persons, but Quebec is no exception, with more than 14 %. The cities of Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, together they are only half of the offences.
In its national action Plan to combat trafficking of persons, the federal ministry of Justice notes that in Canada, victims of this crime are most often women and children, both canadian-born and foreign.
For “the direct benefit of those who take advantage of them”, the victims are deprived of their normal lives and compelled to provide labour or sexual services,” stresses the ministry of Justice.
The coercion is exercised in several ways : intimidation, use of force, sexual assault, threat of violence against victims or their families.
In 2013 , the Court of appeal had described in these terms the behavior of the montreal Juan Pablo Urizar — convicted of trafficking in person to his victim : “He declares that he has all the rights on her, that she belongs to him, he can do anything with it. He is showing more and more violent with her physical and verbal. He threatens to kill her. And he told her that if she reported him to the police, he will easily find, for a few pieces of crack, a hitman for the kill. He told her that if she was running away, he would eventually find her, and that he poignarderait.”
According to the ministry of Justice, the victims suffer physical or emotional abuse and often live and work “in horrific conditions”. And if they try to save themselves from their exploiters, they sometimes do so at the peril of their lives. The “escape attempts may have fatal consequences,” says the ministry.
Human trafficking is perpetrated by both organized criminal networks and individuals that do not have links with them. In Canada, it is primarily focused on sexual exploitation, but it can also consist of forced labour.
Trafficking in persons ” “trafficking in persons involves the recruitment, transportation, harbouring and / or exercising control, direction or influence over their movements in order to exploit that person, typically through sexual exploitation or forced labour.”
Source : Department of Justice Canada
BY THE NUMBERS
Victims of trafficking in persons in Canada from 2009 to 2016
Of victims are women
Of victims of trafficking in persons under 25 years of age
Records of human trafficking in Canada from 2009 to 2016
Records of human trafficking in Québec from 2009 to 2016
Source : Statistics Canada