Human trafficking hits close to home

Daphne Braham of The Vancouver Sun is covering the trial of Reza Moazam who is charged with 36 counts including human trafficking, sexual interference, sexual exploitation and living off the avails of prostitution. Because the victims were aged 14 to 18 at the time of his arrest, none can be named.

Details revealed thus far describe an all-too familiar pattern with regards to human trafficking: a vulnerable young woman/girl with a history of abuse is preyed upon and broken down by an emotionally and physically abusive perpetrator who promises her a better life in exchange for the “glamorous” offerings of prostitution.

Most people think that trafficking means crossing international borders to another country or moving to another province. These crimes occurred in our neighborhoods, in the New Amsterdam café and many other locations throughout Vancouver. It is prevalent in our city, hidden but yet witnessed by cab drivers, neighbours, hotel staff and bachelor party guests. It is a difficult article to read not only for its depiction of how Moazam treated his victims but also of those who purchased his services. 

Many thanks to Daphne Braham who keeps this issue on the front burner and who speaks for those who cannot.