Key Statistics and Facts on Sexual Exploitation & Sex Trafficking

Victims who are bought and sold in Edmonton are most often marginalized populations that include First Nations, newcomers, abuse survivors and vulnerable young girls and boys.

There is a huge misconception that individuals want to be involved in the sex trade and that people have a choice to be involved. Many individuals are forced or feel as if they have no other choice then to engage in sex acts to survive.

Cultural mythology about the sex trade is built on misinformation and fantasies of sexuality that are circulated through movies, television, videotapes and printed material including pornography.


Over 75% of people working in the sex trade began working as a child.

  • Source: Susan McIntyre, PhD

Close to 70% of males had a history of being sexually violated prior to their street involvement.

  • Source: “Under the Radar.” Susan McIntyre, PhD.

Child and teen sex trafficking often starts between the ages of 12 and 14.

  • Source: Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, MS, LPC – 2013

In 2012, there were 59 arrests of ‘johns’ under Section 213 of the Criminal Code with respect to using female police-decoys; 57 vehicles seized from ‘johns’ by EPS Vice Section. By October of 2013, there were 128 arrests of ‘johns’; 105 vehicles seized from ‘johns’ by EPS Vice Section.

  • Source: Edmonton Police Service, Vice Section

In 2012, 56 sex-workers arrested and offered a court diversion program. By October 2013, 37 sex-workers arrested and offered a court diversion program.

  • Source: Edmonton Police Service,Vice Section

The Internet is driving the exponential growth of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking in Edmonton. It is estimated that 80% of Canadian female commercial sex workers are not engaged with street level sex work and are often working in indoor settings.

  • Source: “Structure and agency: reflections from an exploratory study of Vancouver indoor sex workers.” Bungay et Al, 2011.

In 2011, Vice Section received 325 ‘john’-related reports. In 2012, Vice Section received 494 ‘john’ reports (an increase of 52%)

  • Source: Edmonton Police Service, Vice Section

Sex traffickers in Canada can receive an annual financial  gain of $280,000 for each woman or girl they have trafficked and sexually exploited.

  • Source: “Organized Crime and Domestic Trafficking in Persons in Canada.” Organized Intelligence Service Canada, 2010.

“John’s” or sex consumers are on average, between the ages of 26-35, Canadian born, married or common law, and have children.

  • Source: “Prostitution Offender Program: Offender Survey Report.” CEASE, 2010.

Although street-based sex activities are the most visible manifestations and a large focus of police and judicial resources, it is estimated to account for at most, 20% of prostitution activities in Canada.

  • Source: “Decriminalizing Sex work(ers): law reform to protect health and human rights.” Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2005.

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