BRAMPTON – The Ontario government is investing more than $3.1 million over the next five years in a new community-based program to provide more young victims and survivors of human trafficking in Peel Region with the services they need. With this funding, the region is creating an integrated services hub, providing on-site health care, trauma counselling, addictions support, legal aid, education and employment services. Providing better protection and increased supports for children and youth who have been sexually exploited or are at risk is a key focus of Ontario’s strategy to combat human trafficking.
“It is critical that victims and survivors of sex trafficking have access to specialized supports to heal and rebuild their lives,” said Jane McKenna, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “This investment will increase services dedicated to children and youth who have been trafficked or are at risk, so more young people have access to the help they need to stay safe and recover.”
This new program is funded through Ontario’s Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund to increase services across the province. The government is investing a total of $96 million in community-based services and Indigenous-led supports for victims and survivors of human trafficking over five years as part of the province’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy 2020-2025.
"This investment in Peel Region further underlines our government’s commitment to end human trafficking and reinforces our pledge to build awareness, protect victims, provide support for survivors and hold offenders accountable,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “These valuable community resources, coupled with our recently passed Combating Human Trafficking Act, will help prevent and respond to the threat of human trafficking and support our efforts to fight this heinous crime.”
“Increasing supports for victims and survivors of sex trafficking will help keep our communities safe,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, MPP for Brampton South and President of the Treasury Board. “This investment will ensure more children and youth in Brampton and across Peel Region will have access to the critical services they need to support their recovery.”
In total, 27 new projects are being funded through the Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports and Indigenous-led Initiatives funds to provide a more comprehensive network of supports across the province. This investment is part of Ontario’s $307-million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy to raise awareness of the issue, protect victims and intervene early, support survivors and hold offenders accountable.
“On behalf of Peel Regional Council, we are pleased to partner with the province of Ontario, Peel Regional Police, and our community partners to tackle the heinous crime of human sex trafficking in Peel,” said Nando Iannicca, Chair, Region of Peel. “This significant investment from the province enables us to support nCourage, our integrated collaborative services hub that provides wraparound supports such as trauma counselling, risk assessment, safety planning, client navigation, health care and access to many other supports and services. We need to support victims and survivors in rebuilding their lives, as we continue working together to build a safe, equitable and connected community for all.”