Ontario Supports Indigenous-Led Approaches To End Human Trafficking
Liaisons Will Ensure Targeted Support for Indigenous Communities
Following consultations with Indigenous partners, the province is issuing a Call for Applications for Indigenous liaisons to support Ontario's Strategy to End Human Trafficking.
The role of Indigenous liaisons will be to work with Indigenous agencies and communities, as well as non-Indigenous agencies to provide culturally appropriate services and supports to Indigenous survivors. The liaisons will:
- Provide advice, training and capacity-building to Indigenous and non-Indigenous service providers
- Support Indigenous communities in responding to human trafficking in a way that best supports the survivors in the community they are serving
- Provide advice on the design, development and implementation of an Indigenous-Led Initiatives Fund.
- Identify trends and targeted populations, as well as gaps in existing services.
Supporting indigenous-led approaches to end human trafficking is one of many steps on Ontario's journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
Ontario’s Strategy to End Human Trafficking is a part of the government's vision to ensure that everyone in the province can live in safety -- free from the threat, fear or experience of exploitation and violence.
- Human trafficking is a criminal offence that involves recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing or harbouring a person, or exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation.
- The Strategy to End Human Trafficking includes an investment of up to $72 million to increase awareness and coordination, enhance justice-sector initiatives and improve survivors' access to services.
- Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, accounting for roughly 65 per cent of police-reported cases nationally in 2014.
- In Ontario, Indigenous women and girls are among the most targeted and overrepresented populations for human trafficking.
- Of Ontario’s reported cases of human trafficking, about 70 per cent are for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and the majority of survivors are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
“Liaisons will serve a critical role in providing targeted ongoing service planning and delivery supports to Indigenous agencies and non-indigenous agencies so that we can ensure we have the right services and supports in place for Indigenous survivors of human trafficking. This is just one of many steps we are taking in our Strategy to End Human Trafficking in Ontario.”
Dr. Helena Jaczek
“We know that Indigenous women and girls are disproportionately affected by human trafficking. Distinct, culturally relevant services guided by Indigenous partners are a vital part of our plan to end this deplorable crime in Ontario. The liaisons hired through this process will help ensure that Indigenous survivors have the support they need to heal and re-build their lives.”
“Our government recognizes that the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples as victims of human trafficking is an important and significant issue. The work of these Indigenous liaisons will be crucial to creating strong, collaborative relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to provide culturally relevant services and supports to survivors.”