Traffickers are targeting Jamaican teens.
The latest situational analysis of Human Trafficking in Jamaica for 2018 from the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, shows that a majority of sex trafficking victims are Jamaicans followed by Colombians and Guyanese.
The report also indicates that victims are generally females between the ages of 13 and 18.
It was recently tabled in Parliament.
The reports suggest trafficking for sexual exploitation has become more prevalent in recent years.
The breakdown of human trafficking figures show that the majority of sex victims have been nationals of Jamaica, followed by Columbia, Guyana, Panama and Haiti.
Victims are mostly females and between the ages of 13 and 18.
The victims are also said to be from poor socio- economic backgrounds, and are high school students or unemployed at the time of recruitment.
Interestingly, the report states both male and female traffickers have been successfully luring female victims through recruitment schemes.
Common places for exploitation include clubs, bars, massage parlours and other hotspots for prostitution.
The report listed several hotspots including, but not limited to Truck Stop in Runaway Bay, St Ann, Back Road in Portmore, St Catherine, Ripon Road in Kingston and the Hip Strip in Montego Bay, St James.
The Anti- Trafficking in Persons and Intellectual Property Vice- Squad, of the Constabulary says Kingston and St James are the parishes with the most prevalent cases of sexual exploitation.
The Vice Squad which targets and dismantles numerous prostitution hotspots says sex trafficking victims in Jamaica are often rescued from some of these locations.
The Vice Squad also says while some of the girls appear to be willingly prostituting themselves, it’s not always the case.
They’ve also found that traffickers watch from a distance while their victims solicit clients at some of these locations, reinforcing the psychological hold they have on their victims.
The report cited a local case in 2015 where a 13 year old girl was lured from home and prostituted in nightclubs across Jamaica by a Jamaican man.
It says the man was arrested and charged for Child Trafficking under the Trafficking in Persons Act.
His co – accused, the night club owner was also charged for the offence of Living on the Earnings of Prostitution.
Meanwhile, the findings indicate traffickers have become more advanced and deceptive over the years.
It suggests traffickers have moved from the recruitment of old with girls wanted newspaper advertisements, to using social media platforms such as Facebook to lure victims.
One local non government group’s cited as suspecting the use of the Dark Web and Jamaica Backpage in recruiting victims.
Both of which were said to be disabled in April 2018 by US law enforcement.
The report suggests sexual exploitation often involve deception and trickery.
It states, some victims engage traffickers in hopes of gaining temporary or permanent employment including modelling gigs, or being featured in promotional ads.
But it also states, some victims are young girls who have runaway from home and are convinced their traffickers love or care for them.