Ontario Marks Human Trafficking Awareness Day

TORONTO — Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Michael Parsa, Solicitor General Michael Kerzner, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce, and Minister of Transportation Prabmeet Sarkaria released the following statement on Human Trafficking Awareness Day:

“Human trafficking is a grave violation of human rights and a heinous crime that deprives individuals of their freedom and dignity. It often targets the most vulnerable, with women, children and youth among those at highest risk. Collectively, we must continue to take action and work together to raise awareness so that we can better protect people at risk and help survivors get the supports they need to heal.

Ontario is taking action with a whole-of-government approach through an historic investment of $307 million in our five-year Anti–Human Trafficking Strategy to raise awareness, protect victims, intervene early, support survivors and hold offenders accountable. This includes:

  • Mandating all school boards to have an anti-sex trafficking protocol to protect students
  • Requiring all educators and staff to attend training to recognize, respond to and prevent the sex trafficking of children and youth
  • Raising awareness on transit vehicles and along major transportation corridors, including ONroute
  • Continuing to work with trucking industry partners, and agencies like Metrolinx and Ontario Northland to raise awareness of the signs of trafficking
  • Providing community safety grants that support our policing, community and Indigenous partners to work collaboratively to help prevent human trafficking and support survivors.

Our government has also established the first two Children at Risk of Exploitation (CARE) units which bring together specialized teams of child protection workers, police and Indigenous liaisons to better protect children and youth who have experienced trafficking or are at high risk of being trafficked. Building on the success of the first two units, we are engaging with community partners to establish a third CARE Unit in the Kenora District.

We are deeply grateful to the hundreds of our front-line partners and service providers working across Ontario. From early intervention to crisis supports, your efforts directly contribute to the safety and wellness of the individuals and communities you serve. It is thanks to the people working on the front lines and the brave survivors who have shared their stories, that victims and survivors have access to more support than ever before.”

For more information, visit ontario.ca/HumanTrafficking. If there is immediate danger or you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 911 or your local police service.

Call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010 if you or someone you know needs support, or to report a potential case.

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