The law enforcement sector
The law enforcement sector plays an important role in the fight against sexual exploitation. Find out more about this sector’s mandates, roles and responsibilities!
The goal of the law enforcement sector is to protect the life and property of its citizens, to uphold the peace and public safety, and to prevent and fight crime and ensure that the current laws and regulations are respected.
Their mandates, roles and responsibilities :
In matters of sexual exploitation, the law enforcement sector receives complaints from victims and accompanies them through the process to ensure that complaints are maintained despite possible pressure from a pimp. In order to assist victims, the law enforcement sector have a mandate to collaborate with citizens and intervention workers from institutional and community sectors.
From a prevention perspective, the law enforcement sector helps identify youth at risk of sexual exploitation. Their duties include collecting and verifying or refuting information provided by the Department of Youth Protection in cases of sexual abuse which indicate a situation of sexual exploitation. During this investigation, the minor, the minor’s parents and other adults who are in a position of authority with the minor, meet with the appointed law enforcement officer who has been specifically trained to intervene in the context of sexual exploitation.
In addition, the Équipe intégrée de lutte contre le proxénétisme – EILP (Integrated Team to Fight Procuring) was implemented in 2017 in response to the findings of the Quebec government’s Stratégie gouvernementale pour lutter contre les violences sexuelles. The EILP’s mandate is to fight procuring and human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation by tackling the interregional, interprovincial and international networks operating in Quebec. To carry out its mandate, the EILP targets individuals or groups who profit from these types of sexual exploitation or who contribute to it by purchasing sexual services. The Sûreté du Québec is responsible for coordinating the EILP at the provincial level while other law enforcement agencies that provide level 3 and higher services also participate as they have the expertise to carry out investigations in the area of procuring. Other objectives of the EILP include protecting victims of sexual exploitation, effectively intervening in cases of procuring, and identifying the emergence of new phenomena.
Framework, regulations and policies
All Quebec municipalities are served by a municipal police force and/or by the Sûreté du Québec, which act under the authority of the ministère de la Sécurité publique and answer to the Police Act.
Intervention worker’s testimony
“Respecting the police force’s mandate is not just about repression, but also about providing protection. This is something that is often forgotten.”
— Law enforcement stakeholder
Types of professionals working there
The police force consists of inspectors, captains, lieutenants, sergeants, corporals, auxiliary agents and socio-community agents. Non-police personnel include specialists in different fields, administrative officers, human resource officers, program coordinators, etc.
Their primary challenges
Because victims are subject to being moved, many cases of sexual exploitation extend beyond a single city or province. This reality represents a considerable challenge for the law enforcement sector when they have to submit a file to the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions. It is therefore necessary to align the different jurisdictions dealing with all the regions, in order to allow for the uniform and efficient handling of sexual exploitation cases.
In addition, not all law enforcement agencies have the same knowledge and resources to fight sexual exploitation. More and more teams, such as the Équipe intégrée de lutte contre le proxénétisme - EILP (Integrated Team to Fight Procuring), are narrowing their focus to certain fields and attempting to train various law enforcement agencies throughout the province.
Do you want to find out more?
To find out more, refer to the memorandum presented to the Commission spéciale sur l’exploitation sexuelle des mineurs by the Sûreté du Québec and the Service de police de Montréal (SPVM) (link)
and to the Action Plan on Prostitution and Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation drafted by the SPVM : (link)
- CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale. (2018). Manuel du formateur : Prévention et intervention en exploitation sexuelle et prostitution juvénile. Unpublished document (only in French).
- Légis Québec. (2019). Police Act. Recovered from this link
- SPVM, Service de police de la Ville de Montréal. (2014). Action Plan on Prostitution and Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation 2014-2016. Recovered from https://spvm.qc.ca/plan-action-prostitution-en.pdf
- SPVM, Service de police de la Ville de Montréal. (2019). Commission spéciale sur l’exploitation sexuelle des mineurs. Recovered from https://spvm.qc.ca/upload/actualites/exploitation_sexuelle_des_mineurs/vf-memoire-spvm-commission-speciale-exploitation-sexuelle-des-mineurs-20191106.pdf (only in French)
- Sûreté du Québec et Service de police de la Ville de Montréal. (2019). Exploitation sexuelle des mineurs et proxénétisme. Recovered from https://spvm.qc.ca/upload/actualites/exploitation_sexuelle_des_mineurs/memoire_exploitation_sexuelle_sq-spvm_20191104_vf.pdf (only in French)