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News release: December 11, 2020

Region of Peel and the Province of Ontario partner to address human sex trafficking in Peel

Human trafficking can happen to anyone and it threatens everyone’s basic right to live free of violence.

Brampton, ON. (December 11, 2020) – The Province of Ontario announced $3.1M in funding for the Region of Peel to support an integrated services hub for victims, survivors and individuals at-risk of human sex trafficking. The Region of Peel is currently implementing a three-year Strategy to Address Human Sex Trafficking. This pilot strategy was endorsed by Peel Regional Council in 2018 and provides $1.8 million per year for services for victims, survivors and those at-risk of human sex trafficking.

Human sex trafficking impacts the lives of large numbers of individuals, primarily women, with many victims facing long-lasting effects of trauma. The average age of victims is 12 to 24 years old, and Ontario accounts for more than 70% of reported cases in Canada. In addition, 62% of Canadian human trafficking cases originate in the GTA, in part due to access to major highways and an international airport.

The Region is working with all levels of Government to combat human trafficking in all its forms. The Region is addressing the issue through awareness, as well as supports, operating an emergency safe house and transitional house for victims. Peel’s strategy aligns with the Province of Ontario's anti-human trafficking strategy 2020-2025.

This funding will support Catholic Family Services of Peel-Dufferin with the integrated services hub for children and youth (aged 12 and up) providing on-site health care, trauma counselling, addictions support, legal aid, education and employment services.

The framework addresses human sex trafficking through:

This approach allows us to support victims, survivors and those at-risk of human sex trafficking, bridge the gap in services and provide safe housing and dedicated services.

The Region collaborates with Peel Regional Police, community partners and many organizations across Peel and the Greater Toronto Area to address human trafficking and reduce victimization. For more information on the Peel Human Trafficking Service Providers Committee, the Peel Anti-Human Sex Trafficking task force or read the Region's full human sex trafficking strategy.

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.

"Regional Council has acted with commitment and determination to address the prevalence of human sex trafficking in Peel, a serious crime of violence that impacts the dignity and wellbeing of its victims. The Province’s support for Peel’s approach will help survivors in re-establishing their lives and prevent those at-risk from being preyed upon by the traffickers."

Janice Sheehy, Commissioner of Human Services – Region of Peel

"Since our inception, the Peel Human Trafficking Service Providers Committee has worked diligently to address the issue of human trafficking in our Region. This funding is an opportunity for the Committee, with Catholic Family Services as our lead, to continue our efforts in providing trauma- informed, survivor-centred services to support victims/survivors in rebuilding their lives. On behalf of our Committee, I would like to thank the Government of Ontario for supporting Peel’s Integrated Services Hub."

Cst. Joy Brown, Peel Regional Police and Chair – Peel Human Trafficking Service Providers Committee

"On behalf of our partner agencies, we thank the Government of Ontario for their support of our local Peel collaboration which is responding to the needs of our youth who are victims of human sex trafficking. Our Integrated Service Hub provides much needed coordinated wrap around services for victims and survivors. Human sex trafficking is a crime that impacts our entire community and requires a community response. We are delighted to lead this important initiative."

Sharon Mayne Devine, Chief Executive Officer – Catholic Family Services Peel-Dufferin

Media contacts

David Hodkin
Communication Specialist
Region of Peel
416-356-8673

The Region of Peel works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe and connected Community for Life for approximately 1.5 million people and over 175,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. Peel's services touch the lives of residents every day. For more information about the Region of Peel, explore peelregion.ca and follow us on Twitter @regionofpeel and Instagram @peelregion.ca.