What is NST?

Human Trafficking


Non-State Torture inflicted for Commercial Gain

Based on the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime And The Protocols Thereto, human trafficking involves recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring or receiving persons by using threats, force, coercion, using a person’s vulnerability, or abusing one’s power, by giving or receiving money or other benefits when exploiting the trafficked person.

Sexualized Torture and Human Trafficking of Children

In Canada, the RCMP Child Exploitation Unit found 20% included torture & bondage. The Canadian Centre for Child Protection reports finding images of:

  1. Torture, bestiality, bondage.
  2. Necrophilia, degradation, defecated & urinated on. 
  3. Weapons used. 
  4. Victims forced to inflict sexualized harms against each other.
  5. Mostly inflicted on children under 8 years old. 
  6. Girls were in 83% of the pedophilic crime images. 
  7. 9.8% of violent images involve newborns & toddlers.

Non-State Torture inflicted in Prostitution

Parents, pimps, johns, and others form exploitive and violent relationships with exploited persons. Non-State torturers inflict torture to attempt to shatter the relationship with Self of the woman or girl who they exploit, for example, pimps who gang rape as a form of “breaking in”. Sexualized torture is often accompanied by other forms of torture such as physical and psychological tortures.

Exploitation: Prostitution

Prostitution constitutes a human right violation based on the global inequality of all women and girls. It is a global exploitation business supporting oppression, violence and sexualized victimization of women and girls. It is controlled by pimps who are parent(s), family members, friends, boyfriends, and others. Women and girls are most often groomed or tricked into prostitution. Its common root cause often begins when women, as children, suffer sexualized victimization in their families or perpetrated by others known or unknown, which is frequently repetitive.

A 2012 study of exited women in London found:

  • 61% experience ‘client’ violence.
  • 72% endured childhood violence.  
  • 32% were prostituted before the age of 18.

Exploitation into prostitution is a form of violence of women and girls globally. If a very small percentage of women promote themselves as willfully engaged in prostitution their position must not override the human rights of the majority who are chronically victimized and enslaved in a sex-based oppressive reality. Risking and/or withstanding non-State torture is not work; we disagree with the terms “sex work” or “sex trade”.

We recommend a Swedish approach or Nordic Model that criminalizes the suppliers (pimps and traffickers) and the demand (the buyers), and decriminalizes women in prostitution. Its working core principles are that prostitution is sexualized oppression, inequality and violence against women and girls which are human right violations. Canada has endrosed this approach legislating a new act in 2014 called the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act.


My father owned a store and he and my mother would dress me up and sit me on the counter of their store and rent me out to the ladies and the men who came to rent me. I can still hear my father saying to them, ‘Bring her back when you’re done’.

~Sara, a participant in our Kitchen Table research project, 1998.