Through globalization and technology, the world has become increasingly interconnected. Businesses have the opportunity to market products on a global stage. In an instant, a buyer can purchase a product from the opposite side of the world. With mobile devices, people can consume what they want, whenever they want. The rapid increase for demand of instantaneous services has developed beyond material products and household items. Instant consumerism has been capitalized by the sex industry.
By Sydney MacDonald
In 2018 it was discovered by Statista (2019), that there were 2.65 billion people using at least one form of social media, and 3.1 billion users were projected to accumulate by 2021 (Clement, 2019). This is a staggering amount of people consistently being exposed to millions upon millions of advertisements and posts per year. Unfortunately, this creates an opportunity for criminals and predators to make contact with vulnerable individuals and can lead to a darker form: online human trafficking.
Often times, when thinking of trafficking, it is easy to think of the issue as one that happens in other places of the world. Not something that happens in our own backyard. In reality, this is a local issue that happens right here in Toronto. According to Status of Women Canada, over 90% of trafficking cases are domestic in Canada. This means those trafficked come from within our boarders and are trafficked within our boarders. The other 10% of women are trafficked from outside our country. It is important to be aware of the situation around us.
The majority of human trafficking victims are children and women between the ages of 18 and 24 with 43% of them being sold into the sex trade. The masterminds of these criminal operations gross approximately $32 billion per year.