Province proposing new legislation that beefs up penalties against human traffickers and adds supports for those victimized

Proposed legislation comes on Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Canada

Queen’s Park marked Human Trafficking Awareness Day by announcing a new piece of legislation that promises to help combat trafficking across Ontario if it passes.

The Combatting Human Trafficking Act, if passed, would include measures to increase penalties for traffickers who interfere with a child in the care of a children’s aid society, clarify how and when police services can access information from hotel guest registries to further identify victims, as well as require companies that advertise sexual services to have a dedicated contact to support investigations into suspected human trafficking.

The Act would also strengthen the ability of children’s aid societies and law enforcement to protect exploited children. It also contains provisions that ease the process of a victim obtaining restraining orders against traffickers, with specific consideration for Indigenous survivors.

“Our government is taking deliberate steps to put an end to human trafficking and protect victims and potential victims of this terrible crime,” said Premier Doug Ford. “This tough new legislation builds on our Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy we introduced nearly a year ago, giving law enforcement additional tools to help prevent and deter human trafficking.”

The province previously announced a $307 million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy, of which this proposed legislation is a part.