Ontario Expanding Services for Young Victims of Sex TraffickingPublished on June 15, 2020
Increased funding will support community-based and Indigenous-led programs
MISSISSAUGA — The Ontario Government is investing up to $46 million over the next five years to increase community-based and Indigenous-specific supports for child and youth victims of sex trafficking. The Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund and Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund will prioritize early intervention and increased protection for victims of sexual exploitation and dedicated survivor supports.
“Every day, human traffickers are preying on children and youth across Ontario,” said Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore. “With our new Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy, we are focusing on increasing supports to help and protect these young victims. I encourage service providers in the Region of Peel to apply.”
Funding will be available to partners and agencies and focus on areas such as:
- Trauma-informed programming developed and delivered by survivor-led organizations,
- Dedicated services for victims under age 18, including residential placements and treatment, peer mentoring, as well as education and employment training programs,
- Culturally-appropriate, Indigenous-designed supports for First Nations, Inuit and Métis victims, families and communities,
- Targeted supports for sexually exploited boys, individuals with developmental disabilities, LGBTQ2S individuals, and racialized and newcomer populations,
- Specialized programs for children and youth involved in or transitioning out of child welfare or the youth justice system.
“Over the last year, we heard from our frontline agencies, survivors, and Indigenous communities and organizations that there is a critical need to increase available supports for children and youth affected by sex trafficking,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “Our goal is to build a more comprehensive network of anti-human trafficking services across Ontario, so more victims have access to the supports they need.”
Announced in March 2020, our strategy will invest $307 million over the next five years on a comprehensive plan to raise awareness of human trafficking, protect victims, intervene early, support survivors and hold offenders accountable. The strategy reflects valuable input from survivors of human trafficking, Indigenous communities and organizations, law enforcement and frontline service providers.
Applications to the Community Supports Fund and Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund will be accepted until 5 p.m. on July 30, 2020.
- Approximately two-thirds of police-reported human trafficking violations in Canada occur in Ontario.
- Over 70 per cent of known human trafficking victims identified by police are under the age of 25 and 26 per cent are under 18.
- The average age of recruitment into sex trafficking is 13 years old.
- Young women and girls are particularly at risk, especially those from Indigenous communities and children and youth in care, though boys, men and people who are LGBTQ2S are also targeted.
Office of Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP