March 2020
Ontario Releases New Strategy on Human Trafficking

2020-03-06 2:43:43 PM

Premier Doug Ford, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues Jill Dunlop, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones announced a five year anti-human trafficking and child sexual exploitation strategy.

Legislative and regulatory changes will be looked at by the province as part of this strategy. The end goal of this strategy is to reduce the number of human trafficking cases and ensure that victims are able to rebuild their lives.

With a total investment of $307 million from 2020 to 2025 (the largest dedicated investment into anti-trafficking supports and services in Canada), the action plan will focus on the following four areas:

Raise awareness of the issue:

  • Launch a province-wide campaign to educate children, youth, parents, and the broader public about what human trafficking is, how to recognize the signs, and where to get help

  • Develop new public education materials to respond to sector needs and expand the distribution of existing awareness material

  • Develop and deliver new multi-sectoral anti-human trafficking training and culturally-responsive and survivor-informed training (including Indigenous-specific components)

Protect victims and intervene early:

  • Invest in specialized intervention teams made up of police and child protection services

  • Expand the Youth-in-Transition Worker program to include 6 additional human trafficking workers dedicated to providing enhanced training supports to youth.

  • Fund up to three licensed residences to support victims

  • Building on the existing education and prevention efforts in school curriculum, such as the development of a new and digitally-based resource on sexual exploitation prevention

Support survivors:

  • Investing up to $4 million per year in new funding for the Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund

  • Increasing funding for the Indigenous Anti-Human Trafficking Liaisons program to build capacity

  • Provide up to $6 million per year in new funding for the Anti-Human Trafficking Community-Supports Fund

  • Increasing funding for Indigenous Victim Services

  • Expanding the Victim/Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP) by adding new court-based Victim/Witness Services workers to better meet the needs of victims while cases go through the justice system

  • Expand the current pilot program that provides free legal support for individuals seeking specialized human trafficking restraining orders

Hold offenders accountable:

  • Establish a new intelligence-led joint forces team from police agencies (including OPP, municipal police services, and First Nations police services)

  • Increase the capacity of the OPP Child Sexual Exploitation Unit

  • Enhance specialized Crown prosecution capacity to respond to existing and additional human trafficking cases

  • Develop appropriate policing standards for human trafficking and missing persons investigations as part of the Community Safety and Policing Act (CSPA), 2019 regulatory framework.

For more information, please see below:

Ontario’s anti-human trafficking strategy 2020-2025

Ontario Newsroom: Ontario Releases a New and Comprehensive Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking

Backgrounder: Ontario's New Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy


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