Human sex trafficking
Forcing someone into commercial sex acts is a crime.
It's a serious threat to everyone's basic right to live free of violence. Many victims face long-lasting effects of trauma and the number of young women lured into this life continues to increase. Most victims are female.
Male victims are under-reported. Unless they get help, many boys shift from being victims to victimizing other boys and girls.
Ontario accounts for more than half of the cases in Canada. The GTA is near all major highways and the airport, making it a sex trafficking hub. This allows for easier movement of victims across the country.
The crime of human sex trafficking has surpassed gun and drug trafficking for the first time in history. This speaks to the urgent need to address this heinous crime.
Help is available
If you're a victim or survivor of human sex trafficking or forced labour, or you know someone who is, contact the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.
- 70% of Ontario's reported cases of human trafficking are for sexual exploitation.
- 62% of Canadian human trafficking cases originate in the GTA.
- 12 to 24 years old is the average age of victims.
- 63% of victims trafficked in Ontario are Canadian citizens.
What we’re doing
In June 2018, Peel Regional Council endorsed A Strategy to Address Human Sex Trafficking in Peel Region. The 3-year pilot of $1.8 million a year is for services for victims and survivors and those at-risk of human sex trafficking.
The strategy aligns with the Province of Ontario's anti-human trafficking strategy 2020-2025.
Peel's strategy will address human sex trafficking through:
- Supports victims and survivors and those at-risk of human sex trafficking.
- Bridges the gap in services.
- Provides safe housing and dedicated services.
Increase awareness through prevention and education programs delivered mainly by the Peel Human Trafficking Service Providers Committee.
Both school boards in Peel are interested in working with the Region on the implementation of the strategy.
The video, What is Sex Trafficking, was produced by Rhonelle Bruder, a survivor and advocate. The target audience of this video is parents, caregivers and school-aged children.
A Peel-specific e-learning module has been created for Region of Peel staff, organizations and private businesses. The module will raise awareness around the issue of human sex trafficking and the Peel strategy.
The same e-learning module has been modified to be more of a general overview about human sex trafficking. Private businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and municipalities can use the module. Access the general e-learning module.
An in-person training session will be delivered to frontline Regional employees. It will address how staff can support someone who may be at-risk of or has shared personal experience with human sex trafficking.
If you would like more information about the Peel Human Sex Trafficking Strategy, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We'll increase access to easy to navigate reliable services for victims and survivors. An integrated services hub will provide services such as:
- case management
- trauma counselling
- system navigation
- life skills
- continuing education
- family reunification
All services are free-of-charge and will be offered onsite at the confidential hub location. The Integrated Services Hub is scheduled to open fall 2020.
We'll increase access to safe and supportive housing for victims and survivors. This includes 2 separate houses for human sex trafficking victims and survivors:
- 1 safe emergency house (for up to 6 months).
- 1 transitional house (from 6 months to 2 years).
The safe house opened on April 15, 2020 and the transitional house is scheduled to open in fall 2020.
The committee includes the meaningful involvement of victims and survivors. It's made up of organizations from Peel and the Greater Toronto Area. The committee includes the indigenous, education, employment, legal, health and social services sectors.
The goal of the committee is to reduce victimization and enforce human trafficking laws. It will offer services to empower and support victims and survivors in rebuilding their lives.
The mandate of the task force is to:
- Seek and secure sustainable funding for the housing and hub services.
- Champion the issue of human sex trafficking beyond Peel to advocate for its replication across Ontario.
- Identify ways to increase awareness in the various sectors.
- Encourage action on this issue.
The Task Force includes the following members:
- Co-Chairs – Region of Peel and Peel Regional Police
- Survivor Advocate and international disrupter
- Chief of Mental Health, Trillium Health Partners
- Peel Crown Attorney (dedicated to HT)
- Dalla Lana School of Public Health
- University of Toronto
- Women's College Research Institute
- Peel Medical Officer of Health
- The Social Work Association of Ontario
- Regional Councillor
- Peel School boards
- Peel Children's Aid Society
- Provincial Anti-Human Trafficking Coordination Office, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (Ex-Officio)
- Peel Human Trafficking Service Providers Committee (Ex-Officio)