Frontline Partners to Offer New Survivor-Centred Support Programs and Prevention Initiatives
Minister of Community and Social Services, Dr. Helena Jaczek and Minister of the Status of Women, Indira Naidoo-Harris announced 45 projects to help end human trafficking and support survivors, supported by the Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund and the Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund.
- East Metro Youth Services in Toronto, which will offer peer mentorship, public education and trauma therapy, as well as supports to assist families with the reintegration of survivors.
- Voice Found in Ottawa, which will develop a program led by a nurse practitioner who will provide survivors of human trafficking aged 13 and older access to a range of health services in a safe, non-judgemental and culturally sensitive setting.
- Legal Assistance of Windsor, which will offer crisis intervention, legal system navigation, education and outreach, with a focus on labour trafficking and exploitation.
- The Ontario Native Women’s Association, which will launch a Human Trafficking Response Team to respond 24/7 to women at risk of, or leaving, a trafficking situation. A broad range of client-centred services will be offered, using a strengths-based approach that honours the voices of women with lived experience.
Human trafficking is a deplorable crime as well as a human rights violation that robs the safety, livelihood and dignity of those who are exploited and abused. Because survivors are controlled mentally, physically and emotionally by traffickers, it is difficult for them to leave and find help. Those who do find a way out often need support in a range of areas, such as trauma counseling, addictions recovery, job training and more.
This funding represents a significant milestone in the Ontario's four-year Strategy to End Human Trafficking announced in June 2016, to addressing human trafficking.
- Ontario is providing approximately $18.6 million to 44 partners and agencies for projects up to three years as part of the Strategy to End Human Trafficking. Projects were selected following a competitive call for applications for the Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund and the Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund.
- Hundreds of partners were engaged to inform the creation of these new funds, including those who work in victim services, children and youth services, healthcare, education, and violence against women, as well as Indigenous partners and communities.
- Additional funding will be made available through the joint federal-provincial Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) program, which funds the creation and repair of affordable housing, down payment assistance for home ownership, and rental assistance to families and individuals in need, such as human trafficking survivors.
- Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking includes an investment of up to $72 million to increase awareness and coordination, enhance justice-sector initiatives and improve survivors' access to services.
- Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, accounting for more than two-thirds of cases nationally.
- Of Ontario’s reported cases of human trafficking, most are for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and the majority of survivors in these cases are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- In Ontario, Indigenous women and girls are among the most targeted and overrepresented groups of trafficked individuals.