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.
Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark said the strategy is part of Ontario's commitment to protect 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."
"Human trafficking is a crisis that is happening across the province in all communities and at all levels of society. It's important to recognize that our rural communities are not immune," said MPP Clark. "I'm proud that our government is committed to protecting Ontario's most vulnerable and keeping communities safe, which is why we are taking action to fight this crime and support survivors."
As a first priority, Ontario is committing $20 million in annual funding for victim supports and anti-human trafficking enforcement initiatives.
MPP Clark said the investment responds to a need raised by survivors, Indigenous partners, law enforcement and frontline service providers in a series of 13 roundtable meetings with the province over the summer.
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 per cent 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.