Human trafficking

There are some things you expect from 15-year-old girls. Lots of pointless phone conversations and rapid-fire texting. Maybe a bad test grade or report card here and there. Falling outs with friends, overdramatized crushes on boys, and an exorbitant amount of time spent in the shower, the mirror, and the mall. But here’s a new twist to the things-a-teenage-girl-might-do repertoire: human trafficking

Two 15-year-old Canadian gals -- and a 17-year-old who’s since gone on the lam -- are facing multiple charges after police say they forced other underage girls into prostitution. Using (surprise, surprise) social media, they corralled three victims between the ages of 13 and 17 to a home in Ottawa. The abductees were allegedly driven to various parts of the city, pimped into prostitution, and forced to perform sex acts on men. Wow. Talk about innocence lost and, apparently, stolen.

It’s 10:30. Do you know where your teenager is? 

To make matters worse, police say there’s no evidence that the girls acted on behalf of a manipulative adult like a pimp, a wayward parent, or even a nasty older sibling. They may have, however, been products of the human trafficking system themselves at some point and decided to balk against the prostituting and stand up on the money-making end of the deal instead. It’s the classic cycle of victimization when the underdog becomes the aggressor and repeats the very pattern they suffered.

That’s all speculation, though. They could just be girls with a premature, early developed penchant for taking advantage of unsuspecting peers, like A Clockwork Orange type of affair. And that’s even more frightening than the standard issue male perverts and pedophiles lurking about to rob them of their virtue. Who sees a teenage girl as a potential threat to the sexual sanctity of another teenage girl?

We’re always hollering about keeping our kids safe on social media, but I’m pretty sure most of us wouldn’t see this kind of rancidness coming on Facebook or Twitter because, again, it’s cloaked in the innocence of an average teenage girl hangout. Incidentally, human trafficking as a whole is on the rise in the U.S. So the girls’ involvement is just another aspect to a socially crippling sign of the times.

How harshly should the girls be punished?


Image via meghannash/Flickr