Caught Up in Human Trafficking in Kitchener

By Beverly Chandran and Bahati Phoenix, Women Against Human Trafficking

Human trafficking takes place in our city, and as Kitchener residents and citizens of the world, we owe it to humanity to do everything in our power to ensure that the human right to freedom is guaranteed to all.

Deception, coercion, recruitment and kidnapping are some of the trading tools used by traffickers.

Human trafficking in America is a billion dollar business in all 50 states that exploit women, children and men. their lives have no other value than the profits they deserve.

Here in the city of brotherly love and affection, several modern slave owners have been convicted of sex trafficking. Lawsuits have been filed against several local hotels alleging that they helped sex traffickers enslave young girls in what is known as a rampant sex slave business.

Where Sex Trafficking Can Occur:

Get around in your daily life, in the city, in suburbs, in rural areas

Transport systems: Septa, Uber and Lyft

Brothels (houses), motels and large hotel chains

Escort service

Bars, strip clubs, high-end shooting parties

Online through social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Street prostitution and rest stops

Major sporting events, conferences and concerts

Shopping malls, churches, Bible meetings, university campuses

Some of the characteristics of traffickers and their victims, as well as the tactics used, are:

1. Traffickers / pimps aim to care for children, adolescents and women by offering gifts, attention and a better life to their victims. Promises include stability of belonging to someone (family or tribe) and extensive travel, as well as the perception of a “Hollywood” lifestyle that many victims crave.

2. Victims of human trafficking travel extensively from state to state and sometimes outside of the country, but have to sexually serve 10 to 20 men every day at Hugh Hefner (“high baller”) -type parties that have been charged for. The so-called “good life” is a life of forced prostitution against the will of a woman. The effects of this lifestyle can cause severe damage to internal organs.

3. Traffickers use technology to identify and recruit victims. Apps, SMS, Internet, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, laptops and iPhones to run your business.

4. Traffickers use social media to recruit girls through ads and dating websites.

5. Traffickers advertise on Craig’s List and other public and private websites.

6. Human traffickers use the new wide-angle lens iPhone to take photos of women as a scouting method without their consent.

7. Traffickers are known to “pick up” or “save” photos from social media in order to identify girls / women they wish to kidnap or recruit. Do not familiarize yourself with these methods as traffickers are constantly changing their recruiting and scouting methods.

8. Human traffickers are known to abduct and kidnap their victims by luring them into a house for some sort of gathering. Once inside, the victim is attacked, drugged, ill-treated and held hostage before being moved to another location against their will. In addition, human traffickers are kidnapping girls and women from the streets and trying to pick up women posing as Uber or Lyft drivers at major sporting events and concerts.

9. It takes approximately 48 hours for a runaway or discarded child to be dragged off the street looking for basic needs such as food, housing and drugs.

10. Traffickers look for girls between the ages of 13 and 60. Many victims are murdered for organ harvesting at some point during the “living” process.

Find out what to look for. If you believe you have come into contact with a victim of human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center helpline at 1-888-383-7888 and dial 911. You can also:

• Write “Help” to 233733

• Write “BeFree” (233733) via the live chat

• Email: [email protected]

The services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week free of charge.

For more information on Women Against Human Trafficking in Kitchener, visit: or email: [email protected].

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