A Winnipeg city councillor has put forward a motion to tighten rules on escort services and massage parlours.

Charleswood-Tuxedo Coun. Paula Havixbeck presented her motion at a meeting of the city's protection and community services committee on Monday.

Havixbeck said there are hundreds of escort agencies and massage parlours operating in the city, but only a handful of the businesses are registered with city hall.

The councillor said she's disturbed by reports that young women and girls are being forced into prostitution via massage parlours.

"If young people and women who are the most vulnerable in our society are being forced into human trafficking, we as a city need to take a lead role in stopping it," she said.

Diane Redsky of the Canadian Women's Foundation's task force on human trafficking supported Havixbeck's motion, saying girls as young as 13 years old are being forced into Winnipeg's sex trade through massage parlours. 

"We know through hearing from women themselves that often times massage parlours play [a] huge role in their sexual exploitation and human trafficking, meaning that they're forced to be there," Redsky told the committee.

Havixbeck's motion, which will be reviewed by the executive policy committee before going to council as a whole, calls for a strategy with more enforcement and registration.

It also proposes renaming "massage parlours" to "body rub parlours" to avoid confusing such establishments with registered massage therapy services.

Members of the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba would be exempt from the proposed licensing requirements.