- Majority of reported human trafficking cases in Canada are from Ontario.
- Human trafficking reports ‘steadily’ increasing. According to Statistics Canada, there were 340 police-reported cases of human trafficking in Canada in 2016, where it was also the most serious violation.
- Between 2009 and 2016, there were a total of 1,220 police-reported incidents of human trafficking where it was the most serious violation,” the report, titled, “Trafficking in persons in Canada,” explained.
- In Canada, most cases of human trafficking involve other offences, such as assault or sexual exploitation.
- The vast majority of victims in Canada between 2009 and 2016, at 95 per cent, were women. And among women, 70 per cent were younger than 25 years of age.
- Nearly three in 10 victims experienced some sort of physical injury. Many also suffer from emotional and psychological trauma, the StatCan report noted.
- According to the RCMP, there have been 269 cases in Ontario since 2005 where human trafficking specific charges were laid.
WHAT ONTARIO IS DOING
Help for survivors
- Canada has a dedicated, confidential, 24/7 human trafficking hotline: 1-833-900-1010. The hotline is a resource for everyone from victims seeking help, to individuals with a tip to report on a potential case, to members of the public wanting to learn more about the subject – and it provides information on services available across Ontario.
- People who have experienced human trafficking or domestic abuse can contact their local municipal service manager to get priority access to social housing or help paying rent. Some frontline agencies can also help survivors apply for a monthly rent subsidy.
- Indigenous anti-human trafficking liaisons support organizations and communities in responding to the needs of human trafficking survivors who identify as First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
- Ontario also has a unique Human Trafficking Lived Experience Roundtable to ensure survivor perspectives inform all programs and services.
- Survivors, people at risk of human trafficking and parents or guardians of a child at risk of trafficking can get free legal help to apply for a restraining order against a current, past or potential trafficker.
- Ontario’s justice system offers several services tailored to meet the unique needs of human trafficking survivors. These include specialized Victim/Witness Assistance workers; access to emergency funding for services like tattoo removal, addiction recovery and ID replacement; and the option to sue traffickers in court for financial compensation.
- Ontario has a Human Trafficking Prosecution Team composed of specialized Crown prosecutors who are responsible for prosecuting human trafficking cases, providing legal advice to police and prosecutors, and delivering enhanced education and training within the justice sector.
Prevention and Training
- Ontario marks Human Trafficking Awareness Day on February 22 each year, and regularly promotes awareness through social media (@StopTrafficking on twitter) and print materials.
- Specialized youth-in-Transition Workers help to prevent the victimization of vulnerable youth transitioning out of care and connect human trafficking survivors to appropriate services and resources.
- Free online training is available for anyone who wants to learn about the issue at helpingtraffickedpersons.org. The Centre for Addiction and Mental health also has free online training for addiction and mental health workers.
- Police officers receive specialized training at the Ontario Police College on how to investigate and respond to human trafficking cases using an effective, victim-centered and trauma informed approach. Police also receive intelligence-gathering support for human trafficking cases through Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario.