When we think of human trafficking, we often assume it’s something that happens in other places, far away, but in fact, it’s a thriving business right here in Toronto.

In our latest Recovery Now podcast, we sit down with human rights advocate Rhonelle Bruder, who bravely shares how she was targeted and pulled into the monstrous world of human trafficking as a vulnerable teen, how she eventually escaped, and what her recovery journey has been like since.

It’s important that we recognize not only the insidiousness of this issue but also how sizeable the industry really is. It’s a sick thought, but as a friend who works with homeless youth shared with me, it’s far easier to smuggle people than arms, and the profit margin is much bigger.

Social media has made it incredibly easy for human traffickers to prey on young people, especially if they have the ability to communicate to them directly. With most transactions happening over the web, and things like Airbnb providing accessible locations away from security cameras and the public eye, human trafficking is operating all around us, all the time. Education and awareness is crucial for everyone.