ONTARIO — The Ontario government is developing a new strategy to combat human trafficking that will be co-led by Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General and Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. The strategy is part of Ontario’s commitment to protecting women and children and combatting gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse.
“Every day across Ontario, young women and children are being lured into human trafficking by criminals who rob them of their safety and dignity,” said Premier Doug Ford. “I want to thank Solicitor General Jones and Associate Minister Dunlop for leading the development and implementation of our new, stronger, cross-government strategy to raise awareness of these disgusting crimes, ensure survivors get the supports they need, and bring their traffickers to justice.”
As a first priority, Ontario is committing $20 million in annual funding for victim supports and anti-human trafficking enforcement initiatives.
“Human trafficking is a crisis that is happening across the province in all communities, and of particular concern in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, which straddles the U.S. border, and at all levels of society,” said Member of Provincial Parliament Jim McDonell.
“During discussions across the province, frontline workers and survivors of human trafficking told us there is a need for consistent and reliable funding,” said Associate Minister Dunlop. “We are taking action to respond to what we heard. This annual investment for dedicated anti-human trafficking initiatives will ensure victim supports are available on an ongoing basis, and that critical prevention and enforcement actions continue.”
“Ontario has more police-reported incidents of human trafficking than any other province in Canada,” said Solicitor General Jones. “Ensuring the safety and security of Ontarians is the government’s most fundamental responsibility, which is why we are committed to providing ongoing funding to stop the criminals who are profiting from this crime, so we can protect our children and keep our communities safe.”
Over the summer, the province hosted a series of 13 roundtable meetings on human trafficking with survivors, Indigenous partners, law enforcement and frontline service providers. As the government works toward a new anti-human trafficking strategy, Solicitor General Jones and Associate Minister Dunlop will continue to look for ways to collaborate across government, across sectors and across jurisdictions to raise awareness, help survivors, keep children and youth safe, and hold offenders accountable.
- Approximately two-thirds of police-reported human trafficking violations in Canada occur in Ontario.
- Over 70 percent of human trafficking victims identified by police are under the age of 25.
- The average age of recruitment into sex trafficking is 13 years old.
- @StopTrafficking, #KnowHumanTrafficking