The province is committing over seven million dollars to improve supports for survivors of human trafficking.
Premier Doug Ford announced the commitment from Queen’s Park on Monday, joined by Attorney General and Barrie-area MPP Doug Downey. “These funds will expand the assistance available to human trafficking victims for accommodations, dental care, transportation, mobile phones, or court-related expenses,” Downey said. “The investment also provides additional funding to Victims Crisis Assistance Ontario providers to do more of their vital work in support of human trafficking victims.”
According to the province, over two-thirds of police-reported human trafficking offenses in Canada take place in Ontario. Over 70 percent of known human trafficking victims are under the age of 25, just less than a third are under age 18.
“Through our government’s anti-human trafficking strategy, we are helping young women and children escape a living nightmare and rebuild their lives,” said Premier Ford. “We will continue to work with police to give them the tools and resources they need to go after the thugs responsible for this disgusting crime and put them behind bars where they belong.”
Supports funded through this investment include:
- Additional funding to the Victim Quick Response Program+ to help human trafficking victims and survivors cover essential expenses, such as accommodation, meals, transportation, dental care, mobile phones and tattoo removal.
- Enhanced services under Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario to enable front-line staff across Ontario to address the immediate and local needs of human trafficking victims and survivors, particularly children and Indigenous persons. This could include early intervention to help victims transition out of human trafficking, referrals to local programs and increased hours of service.
- Expanded funding to the Vulnerable Victims and Family Fund to cover key court-related expenses for human trafficking victims and survivors, including basic necessities such as weather or courtroom-appropriate attire, and costs associated with travel, meals and accommodations.
The funding announced today will cover a five-year span.