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Human-trafficking bust in York Region yields 10 arrest, 120 charges

Police tape marks a crime scene in this file photo.

JOHN LEHMANN/The GLOBE AND MAI

Ten men are facing a total of more than 120 charges after two months of police investigations into human trafficking involving underage girls in central Ontario.

York Regional Police say the investigations focused on helping girls and young women who were being sexually exploited and trafficked by pimps for prostitution.

Project Home for Christmas was launched in December to find underage girls forced to work as prostitutes, remove them from what police say are often "violent situations" and try to get them home for the holidays.

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Further investigations took place throughout January.

The men charged range in age from 20 to 28, with charges including human trafficking, forcible confinement, sexual assault and living on the avails of a juvenile prostitute.

Investigators say many of the women and young girls involved in prostitution are forced into the sex trade through violence, threats and coercion and they urge any such victims to contact police for help.

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