Child and Youth Trafficking and Prostitution in Canada
World trafficking in women and children for use in the sex trade is a multi-billion dollar market -- and it is on the rise. The United Nations estimates that 4 million people are trafficked throughout the world each year under threat of violence, due to poverty, or through deception.
A report by the Solicitor General of Canada (October 1997) concludes that migrant trafficking accounts for 8-16,000 illegal immigrants in Canada every year, many of them female youths and children who are forced to work in Canada's booming sex trade industry. The same report estimates that those profiting from the illegal trafficking of children and women in Canada earn as much as $400 million annually.
Authorities have infiltrated trafficking rings that have imported children and youths from every continent in the world to work as sex slaves in Canada. Every major urban centre in Canada has records of children and youths working as prostitutes, as escorts, in strip clubs and in pornography. Thousands of children are believed to be currently engaged in the commercial sex industry nationally.Steps for Action*
As a result of the World Congress Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children, held in Yokohama, Japan (December 2001), Save the Children Canada, along with other children and women's organizations, urge the following measures to be adopted by Canada's national and provincial governments:
- address the market for sex with children and youths by focusing on the predators;
- decriminalize all children engaged in the commercial sex trade;
- address the needs of exploited children by providing health and counseling services to child and youth sex workers;
- allow meaningful participation of youths in the development and implementation of solutions;
- include prostitution-related activities in the legal definition of child abuse; and,
- address the root causes of exploitation, namely poverty.
For more information on child and youth trafficking and prostitution, please visit the following links: