The vast majority of women working in the sex trade were recruited when they were minors at an average age of 14.7 years*. This alarming statistic exposes one of the harsh realities that exist in metropolitan areas such as Montreal and Quebec City. In fact, prostitutes, generally recruited locally, are mostly women and teenage girls who find themselves forced to work in the sex trade and are exploited to excess by criminals who act as pimps.
In many cases, it is long-established organized crime networks that move victims to target locations from one city or province to another, allowing them to occupy a larger territory and maintain a higher profile. In recent years, the seriousness of the consequences of sexual exploitation has led to a growing collective awareness.
Lieutenant-Detective Dominic Monchamp, who has been employed by the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) for 25 years, has devoted the last 20 years to the fight against sexual exploitation and human trafficking by conducting investigations, training workers, raising awareness about this phenomenon and supporting various authorities in dealing with this problem.
The SPVM team has developed an action plan to assist victims of sexual exploitation and to fight against those who exploit them. To his credit, Dominic has handled more than 2,500 files related to human trafficking and has conducted close to 1,000 interviews with victims. He has also acted as an expert witness six times between 2006 and 2019 during trials. An expert in the field, he is regularly invited as a speaker and trainer at the provincial, national and international levels. Among other things, he has given lectures to representatives of various governmental, social and legal organizations in Quebec and Canada, as well as in Guatemala and Lithuania. He has also trained several cohorts of investigators, notably at the Canadian Police College in Ottawa, as well as many prison, emergency and victim assistance workers.
Demonstrating outstanding leadership and an unwavering commitment to this societal issue, Detective Lieutenant Monchamp has also participated in several committees over the past 15 years, including CATHII (Action Committee on Internal and International Human Trafficking) IBCR (International Bureau for Children’s Rights) and the National Human Trafficking Investigators’ Conference Call.
Currently, Dominic Monchamp oversees the investigations of the new Integrated Pimping Enforcement Team (IPET), created by the Government of Quebec in 2017. The team now coordinates more than three hundred and fifty investigations. This number is constantly growing since human trafficking is the second most lucrative criminal activity after drug sales. The number of pimps now exceeds one thousand, and prostitution is moving from the streets to the virtual world. Quebec is facing a harsh reality in this regard, thus the crucial importance of the work of Detective Lieutenant Monchamp and his team.