OTTAWA - Those "Become a model!" posters could lure your daughter into the clutches of the gangster-run sex-trade.
That's the warning coming from people fighting human trafficking in Canada.
"There is an instruction manual that is used by sex traffickers. It often starts as a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship," said Benjamin Perrin, law professor at the University of British Columbia and author of "Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking."
He said traffickers charm young women using gifts and promises of glamour.
"It's the knight in shining armour," he said - except these knights drive a convertible.
"The really sophisticated traffickers never get caught. They make a lot of money, and their victims are so psychologically controlled that they don't even need to use physical violence," Perrin said.
With forthcoming federal laws targeting human trafficking, analysts say young women need to know criminals are on the hunt to feed prostitution rings in Canada's big cities.
The United Nations highlights human trafficking as one of its key concerns.
In a study of 155 countries it found that sexual exploitation is the most common form of human trafficking, with 79% of victims used for the sex trade; 18% are used for forced labour.
Most slaves are women, but many traffickers are also women.
The total number of people snared in human trafficking is unknown, but the non-profit children's rights group Beyond Borders estimates more than one million people are involved globally.
The RCMP website notes that at-risk youth and runaways, as well as new immigrants and anyone who is socially or economically disadvantaged could be vulnerable.
The site also lists some signs that a person might a victim:
"They may be controlled by someone else (i.e. being escorted or watched. They may not have a passport or other ID. They may show visible signs of torture (such as) cigarette burns."
Some, however, question the motivations of those campaigning against human trafficking, saying they are actually trying to crush all forms of prostitution.
"A lot of what is going on is political posturing in the name of a particular prohibitionist, abolitionist agenda," said criminologist John Lowman of Simon Fraser University. "The people who are leading it cannot produce credible information for their claims."
He doesn't deny that human trafficking exists. But, he said, "Before we go spending vast amounts of money on police initiatives or policies, we need reliable information."