July 29, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario - Women and Gender Equality Canada
Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, along with the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness announced funds to support victims and survivors of human trafficking. The $19 million will be administered by two federal departments responsible for the implementation of the Government’s five-year National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, a whole-of-government approach to eradicating human trafficking and supporting those impacted.
Human trafficking is a vile, harmful crime that disproportionately impacts women and girls. The Government of Canada is working with domestic and international partners to combat human trafficking in all its forms. The pandemic has made it more difficult to keep vulnerable populations safe, and help victims escape situations of human trafficking and access the supports they need. Starting today, the Government is accepting applications for projects that work to prevent and address human trafficking and support survivors.
$14 million will be distributed by Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) and $5 million through Public Safety Canada. WAGE’s call for proposals will support organizations that work to prevent and address human trafficking to develop and implement promising practices to enhance empowerment supports for at-risk populations and survivors of human trafficking. The call will remain open until September 4, 2020.
The funding available through Public Safety Canada will support two initiatives. The first is for projects that seek to empower victims and survivors of human trafficking through the provision of supports and services that are trauma-informed and culturally relevant. The second is for pilot projects to establish and test best practices to raise awareness of human trafficking among at-risk youth. The call will remain open until September 4, 2020.
Eligible organizations for the funds include not-for-profits, Indigenous governments (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities) and their agencies, Indigenous not-for-profit organizations (that represent First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis interests, and that are controlled by members of the population they serve) and municipalities and their agencies.
“Human trafficking is largely hidden. New trends continue to emerge and the pandemic has increased the harms to the most vulnerable. If you are a survivor of sexual exploitation, forced labour; if you believe someone else might be; or if you are currently being exploited and ready to talk to someone about your next steps, please call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010. Caring professionals are ready to assist you 24/7. If you and your team provide holistic, trauma-informed services to help survivors regain their independence, reintegrate into their communities, and begin their healing and recovery process, we thank you. Eligible organizations for the funds announced today include those supporting victims and survivors and community-led empowerment programs addressing the root causes of human trafficking.”
The Honourable Bill Blair, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister for Women and Gender Equality
Minister for Rural Economic Development
Despite strong laws and global protocols, human trafficking generates around $150 billion in profits worldwide annually. It disproportionately impacts women and children. In Canada, 95% of police-identified victims are women and girls.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has responded by investing multi-year funding in over 500 organizations working to address and prevent all forms of gender-based violence and promote gender equality.
Across the country, over 1000 sexual assault centres and organizations that combat gender-based violence have been supported with emergency funding to continue to operate and provide essential services safely through the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2019, the Government of Canada launched the new comprehensive National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (National Strategy), a whole-of-government approach that brings together federal efforts, and is supported by an investment of $57.22 million over five years and $10.28 million ongoing.
This builds on previous investments of $14.51 million over five years, and $2.89 million per year to establish the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline, which launched in May 2019, as well as ongoing work across the Government of Canada to combat human trafficking.
The National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking builds on and complements the efforts of Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence and advances the implementation of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice.
To read more about people working on the frontline to end human trafficking, see Support the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons