Most people don’t associate Brampton with human trafficking, but police say there are victims in Peel.
“February 22, 2018, has been designated as Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Peel Regional Police Major Drugs and Vice Unit would like to make the public aware that Human Trafficking is not only an international issue, it is occurring within our own community,” Peel police said in a statement.
Police say human trafficking occurs when a group or individual recruits, transports, transfers, receives, holds, conceals or harbours a person–or exercises control, direction or influence over the movements of a person–to exploit them.
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While most people associate trafficking with sexual exploitation, victims may also be coerced into providing forced labour.
Human trafficking is often described as a modern form of slavery.
Peel police say there are signs that may indicate that someone is a victim. They include:
- Isolation from family and friends
- New circle of friends
- More than one cell phone
- Possession of expensive items with no source of income
- Change in style of dress
- Unexplained bruises/cuts
Police say that parents who are concerned about sexual exploitation can take note of the following tips:
- Monitor social media and internet use
- Stay current with apps and social sites their child is using
- Know your child’s friends
- Educate your child on healthy relationships
Peel police are encouraging individuals to come forward and report human trafficking incidents to the Major Drugs and Vice Unit at (905) 453-3311, ext. 3555 or 3515.