Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes worldwide, with nearly two-thirds of police-reported cases in Canada taking place in Ontario. Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable members of our society ― our children.
Today, our PC Government announced a new comprehensive strategy to combat human trafficking and end child sexual exploitation, as part of our plan make Ontario communities healthier and safer.
The new strategy – which is the largest total investment in dedicated anti-human trafficking supports and services in the country – will invest over $307 million over the next five years on a proactive, comprehensive action plan focused on four key areas:
- Raising awareness: by providing multi-sector training and enhanced public education – including a new, province-wide marketing campaign – to ensure children, youth, parents, and all Ontarians know, how to recognize the signs and where to get help.
- Protecting victims: intervening early by focusing on prevention measures to support children and youth, leveraging key partners, such as police and child protection services as part of new specialized intervention teams, and establishing dedicated, licensed residences to serve victims under age 16.
- Supporting survivors: by investing new funding in community-based supports and Indigenous-led initiatives to make more services available for survivors across the province and enhancing victim services to assist survivors throughout the court process.
- Holding offenders accountable: by enhancing specialized Crown prosecution capacity, strengthening intelligence gathering in the correctional system, and building law enforcement capacity, including support to help police services combat human trafficking through a coordinated approach and expanding the Ontario Provincial Police’s Child Sexual Exploitation Unit.
Additionally, Indigenous-specific resources are embedded across our new strategy, providing significantly more supports to address the unique needs of Indigenous communities.
The strength of our approach speaks to the magnitude of this crisis – not only in Ontario, but around the world – and demonstrates our PC government’s commitment to ensuring that combatting human trafficking becomes a national priority.