Human trafficking ‘significant problem in Ontario’

Report urges province to provide resources to victims, develop strategy to combat problem

Ontario functions as a major hub of sex trafficking, according to a report released Thursday.

The report on sexual violence and harassment calls human trafficking a major problem that is poorly understood through the entire country.

The report was released by the Select Committee on Sexual Violence and Harassment, a group formed last year from members of the Legislative Assembly at Queen’s Park. The committee was tasked to research and find methods to reduce sexual violence, as well as give the province suggestions for a system on how to combat it.

“Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation has been found to be the most common form of trafficking in Canada,” according to the report.

The committee made over 60 recommendations to the province. To fight trafficking, it was recommended Ontario “provide resources for the development of a coordinated approach to help victims of human trafficking, allowing providers of support services and the criminal justice system to share information and work collaboratively” and “develop a multi-ministerial, province-wide strategy on human trafficking.”

In 2013, the RCMP released a report, Project Safekeeping, an evaluation of Canadian sex trafficking. Findings included that individuals under 18 were increasingly “becoming involved as human traffickers for sexual exploitation.”