Operation Northern Spotlight VI - Police arrest 14 in nationwide human trafficking investigation

October 18, 2017
Ottawa, Ontario

News release

Police have arrested 14 persons in a nationwide human trafficking investigation. Operation Northern Spotlight is a joint effort of 57 police agencies from across Canada to proactively prevent vulnerable persons working in the sex trade from becoming victims of human trafficking.

As part of Operation Northern Spotlight, police pre-arrange to meet with individuals suspected of working in the sex trade against their will, or who are believed to be at high risk of being trafficked.

This year, with the support of community outreach and social workers, police interviewed 324 individuals believed to be at-risk and removed six, including two under the age of 18, from exploitive situations. The Canadian operation took place from October 11 to 15, 2017 while simultaneous operations were underway in the United States, Europe and Asia.

A total of 21 charges were laid against the suspects, including Trafficking in Persons. The Canadian operation was coordinated by the RCMP's Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre in partnership with agencies from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island.

Quotes

"Operation Northern Spotlight is possible because of the Canadian police agencies and NGOs working in partnership to stop human trafficking. It is because of their commitment and dedication that we are able to run these types of operations and remove victims from harm.""

Joanne Crampton, Assistant Commissioner, Federal Policing Criminal Operations, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

"Our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of those individuals who are at risk of being exploited and harmed in heinous human trafficking situations. The police are essential in achieving this objective. We're not talking about adults willingly partaking in the sex trade. We're talking about vulnerable women, girls and others being abused and forced into committing sexual acts for someone else's profit."

Simone Bell, Founder, Hope Found Project, Voice Found.

For more information please visit: Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre

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