June 7, 1996

Tom Godfrey and Don Wanagas

Teen Hookers Sent Home:
Cops reunite runaways, families

TORONTO - Metro Police have helped reunite about 100 teen hookers with their families in the past year and are now searching for 30 others working the streets of Toronto.

Det. Craig Lewers of the juvenile task force said before the hookers, aged from 11 to 16, can be returned home their families must be approved by the Children's Aid Society.

"If the parents don't have the money, we use Operation Go Home to send them home," Lewers said.

Petra Wolfbeiss, of Operation Go Home, said her organization gives the teens a free bus ticket to travel to their homes anywhere in Canada.

She said about 100 teen hookers were sent home in the last year.

"A lot of kids do come back," to Toronto after being reunited, Wolfbeiss said. "But a lot of parents do want their children back."

Police estimate 300 hookers, aged 11 to 16, are working as prostitutes here.

In the last 18-months, police have sent 80 juvenile hookers to the CAS, and pulled more than 130 pimps off the streets.

Meanwhile, Toronto Councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski said yesterday he's fed up with federal Justice Minister Allan Rock's do-nothing approach to street prostitution.

"After the recent murders of three members of the sex trade in Toronto, it should be obvious to you that action must be taken immediately," Korwin-Kuczynski said in a letter to Rock.

He reminded Rock that city council supports the decriminalization of prostitution "so that we can deal with the issue in a responsible manner."

He said Rock visited the hooker-plagued Parkdale community in his ward during the Liberal government's first year in office and promised a quick return to report on initiatives to deal with the problem.

More news about pimps and juveniles...

[main menu] [news menu]

Created: November 13, 1996
Last modified: November 18, 1996

CSIS Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710