Top Dollar

Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (http://www.cisc.gc.ca/products_services/domestic_trafficking_persons/persons_e.html) posted the following profit table based on daily, weekly and annual profits gained from women in prostitution:

Number of Females
Daily Profit
Weekly Profit
Annual Profit
1
$ 900
$ 5,400
$ 280,800
5
$ 4,500
$ 31,500
$ 1,638,000
10
$9,000
$ 63,000
$ 3,276,000
15
$ 13,500
$ 94,500
$ 4,914,000
20
$ 18,000
$ 126,000
$ 6,552,000
25
$ 22,500
$ 157,500
$ 8,190,000
30
$ 27,000
$ 189,000
$ 9,828,000
35
$ 31,500
$ 220,500
$ 11,466,000
40
$ 36,000
$ 252,000
$ 13,104,000

CSIC cites how organized crime, from well formed networks to street gangs, are at the forefront of trafficking activity in Canada. Everything from the Web and false modelling agencies are used to lure young people into sexual slavery. Younger males eager to gain acceptance into gangs are sent to recruit younger women (between 12-25) who are typically from the middle-class segment of society.

The mobility of domestic trafficking makes identifying victims difficult. However amended laws involving TIP (Trafficking In Persons) issues are allowing for greater awareness and authority for law enforcement.

In theory.

Bill C-49 (CC Section 279.01 – 279.04) created three new indictable criminal offences to specifically address trafficking in persons:

the main offence, Section 279.01 “trafficking in persons,” prohibits anyone from recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing or harbouring a person, or exercising control or influence over the movements of a person, for the purpose of exploiting or facilitating the exploitation of that person (maximum penalty: life where it involves the kidnapping, aggravated assault or aggravated sexual assault or death of the victim and 14 years in any other case);

a second offence, Section 279.02 prohibits anyone from receiving a financial or other material benefit for the purpose of committing or facilitating the trafficking of a person (maximum penalty: 10 years);

and, a further offence, Section 279.03 prohibits the withholding or destruction of documents such as a victim’s travel documents or documents establishing their identity for the purpose of committing or facilitating the trafficking of that person (maximum penalty: 5 years).

Slavery is illegal in Canada.

And yet it continues to flourish.

The word trafficking suggests movement. Not all victims are moved from one place to another. The word slavery suggests physical confinement. Not all victims are physically held against their will. Our wording sometimes confuses us… perhaps it has also done our justice system a great disservice in upholding our laws against perpetrators and finding needed support for victims.

Wording aside, taking a good look at that table posted above, I feel the need to be sick. Pure profit off of people put into hard numbers. And wow… those are some numbers. It would be wise to remind readers here that behind those numbers are people — mostly women. The chart is meant to act as reasonable data but, as I tend to do at times, people can become the data. I start to fight on behalf of the data, the stats, but the people are forgotten about.

Subtracting room/board and other necessary expenses, one could make a 6-figure salary off of one person in one year. Knowing the conditions many victims are forced to live in, the expenses are minimal. "It's easy money…" as someone once said. I shake my head in both sarcasm and sadness. Sarcasm because no money is easy. Sadness because there are obviously still people out there who believe that to be true.

Who pays these wages? The table not only reflects profit margins but indicates the exorbitant demand side of Canada's sex industry. We have the arrogance to put a price tag on a person?

Apparently so.

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