Ontario Marks World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Ngookimisnaanuk Grandmothers Council members Alison Recollet (L) and Marly Day-Bateman lead peaceful march along Hwy 17B - Garden River Ontario - Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Feb. 22nd, 2018. photo by Lynne Brown/Superior Media

Today, Ontario joins the international community to raise awareness of human trafficking and make it clear that this heinous crime will not be tolerated in our communities.

“I think a lot of Ontarians would be shocked to learn that girls, women and vulnerable people are being abused and exploited by human traffickers right here in our backyard,” said Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod. “While this is an international problem, it is also a local one. Two-thirds of the cases reported across the country each year happen right here in Ontario, and most of the victims were born in Canada.”

Human traffickers control victims through tactics such as threats, violence, psychological abuse and drugs. Ontario works with hundreds of partners across sectors that are committed to ending human trafficking, helping survivors, and bringing offenders to justice.

“To help these women and girls get their lives back, we must raise awareness of this crime and promote early intervention,” said MacLeod. “Our government remains committed to working closely with police, child welfare, educators, Indigenous partners and social service and housing providers. Everyone needs to work together to end this horrific crime. I want these women to know that I am here to help fight for them and help provide a brighter future.”