Ontario Expands Services For Young Victims Of Sex Trafficking

Source: 
Ministry of Children's Services and Social and Community Services

Increased Funding Will Be Used For Community And Aboriginal Programs

June 15, 2020 2:30 p.m. Ministry of Children's Services and Social and Community Services

TORONTO - The Ontario government is investing up to $ 46 million over five years to expand community and Aboriginal supports for children and youth who are victims of sex trafficking. The Community Support Fund to Combat Human Trafficking and the Fund for Aboriginal Initiatives to Combat Human Trafficking will prioritize early intervention programs, programs of increased protection for victims of sexual exploitation and supports for survivors.

"Last year, our frontline organizations, survivors and Indigenous communities and organizations revealed to us the urgent need to increase supports for children and youth affected by sex trafficking," said Jill Dunlop, Minister Associate delegate in the Childhood and Women's Status file. Our goal is to expand the network of human trafficking services in Ontario so that more victims have access to the supports they need. "

Funding will be made available to partners and organizations to help them provide services in the following areas:

  • Trauma-specific programs developed and delivered by survivors' organizations;
  • Services for victims under the age of 18, including residential placements and treatment, peer mentoring, education and job readiness programs;
  • Culturally adapted supports, designed by Aboriginals, for victims, families and Inuit, Métis and First Nations communities;
  • Targeted supports for boys, people with intellectual disabilities, members of the LGBTQ2S group, members of racialized communities and newcomers who are victims of sexual exploitation;
  • Specialized programs for children and youth involved in the youth justice system or moving from the child welfare system to the youth justice system.

"Human trafficking is not just a law enforcement problem - it is a horrible and violent crime that targets vulnerable people, destroying their health and robbing them of security and dignity," said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. By investing in intervention programs and specialized services, we will be able to reduce the threat of exploitation and protect those who are most at risk. These programs are vital aspects of Ontario's plan to combat human trafficking, bring traffickers to justice and eradicate this monstrous crime. "

Announced in March 2020, Ontario's Anti-Trafficking Strategy will invest $ 307 million over the next five years in a far-reaching plan to raise public awareness, protect victims, respond at an early stage , support survivors and hold offenders accountable for their actions. The strategy reflects the insightful perspectives of survivors of human trafficking, Aboriginal communities and organizations, the law enforcement sector and front-line service providers.

Applications to the Community Support Fund to Combat Human Trafficking and to the Fund for Aboriginal Initiatives to Combat Human Trafficking will be accepted until July 30, 2020, at 5 p.m.

Quick facts

  • Almost 2/3 of police-reported human trafficking cases in Canada occur in Ontario.
  • Over 70% of known victims of human trafficking, identified by the police, are under the age of 25 and 26% are under the age of 18.
  • The average age of victims recruited for sex trafficking is 13 years.
  • Girls and young women are the most vulnerable, especially among Indigenous communities and youth in care, although boys, men and members of the LGBTQ2S group are also targeted.