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The real risk of human trafficking

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In his book "Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan," journalist Jake Adelstein chronicles his experiences on the vice beat with Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper. At one point, he describes a human sex trafficking operation run by men named Viktor and Slick:


"The focus of Slick's recruitment was girls from Israel and also Hungary, Poland and other countries in Eastern Europe. He placed hostess want ads on One Canadian girl, age 22, was filtered through a recruiting agency in Germany before she eventually got to Japan...Typically, the girls were promised an astronomical 4 million yen ($40,000) a month working as high-class hostesses, accompanying rich businessmen to dinner. The company agreed to pay an agent in their home country a fee of 3,000 euros for the girl's airfare and lodging in Tokyo. Once the girl arrived in Tokyo, she was met and taken to the company apartment, which she would share with the other working girls. If she hadn't figured it out by then, she would quickly be informed what was expected of her. Financial pressure, lies, subtle (and not-so-subtle) threats to hurt her family and plain and simple indoctrination were brought to bear.

In addition to hostess jobs, which normally stop at barroom companionship, other typical positions abroad, like teaching English, are posted online as a cover for sex or forced labour trafficking. These ads are virtually indistinguishable from their legitimate counterparts, so how can Canadian expats avoid a globally prevalent employment trap?


Can it really happen to you?


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