$20 Million in Yearly Funding for Anti-Human Trafficking Programs
The government has a plan to build safer communities by making annual investments in dedicated anti-human trafficking initiatives. This funding will support survivors with wraparound services, assist with coordination across police forces, provide training to police officers to identify and arrest traffickers and support victims, and ultimately hold offenders accountable for their actions. This $20 million in yearly funding will support:
Prevention and Specialized Services for Victims of Human Trafficking ($12.3 million):
- Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund - $7 million
The Community Supports Fund supports projects that offer wraparound services to human trafficking survivors and increased protection for people at risk of being trafficked. Services include emergency and transitional housing; trauma-informed counselling, and supports to foster healing and rehabilitation; healthcare, mental health and addiction treatment, and to provide linkages to employment and job training supports.
- Anti-Human Trafficking Indigenous-Led Initiatives Fund - $3 million
The Indigenous-Led Initiatives Fund supports culturally relevant services and care designed by and for Indigenous peoples within Ontario. Indigenous partners receive funding to provide survivors with access to services, help prevent at-risk people from being trafficked, engage people with lived experience and encourage innovation and community partnerships. The programs supported by this funding also include 24/7 crisis supports, counselling, cultural programming, addictions treatment, leadership development and other services.
- Provincial Anti-Human Trafficking Coordination Office - $1.9 million
The Provincial Anti-Human Trafficking Coordination Office is responsible for the government-wide coordination of anti-human trafficking activities and initiatives. The Office leads approaches to public education, training and collaboration with ministry partners and external stakeholders, and works closely with a network of regional teams across the province. This involves supporting relationship-building among police services, children's aid societies and other community organizations, as well as efforts to raise awareness about human trafficking.
- Youth-In-Transition Worker Program - $420,000
Specialized youth-in-transition workers assist youth aged 16-24 years who are at risk or who are survivors of human trafficking. These workers provide supports and resources to youth leaving care, such as assistance finding employment, life skills training and housing support.
Law Enforcement Initiatives ($2.9 million):
- Ontario Police College Human Trafficking Training Program - $257,200
Through the Human Trafficking Training Program, the Ontario Police College equips police officers with the skills and expertise needed to identify and arrest human traffickers and support victims. This includes a part of the Basic Constable Training program in which all recruits are trained to identify that someone may be a victim or perpetrator of human trafficking, as well as a specialized Human Trafficking Investigation course developed in consultation with police stakeholders, experts and individuals with lived experience that provides investigators with the skills, knowledge and abilities to effectively investigate human trafficking incidents with an emphasis on supporting survivors.
- Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Human Trafficking Investigation Coordination Team - $2.2 million
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) team coordinates anti-human trafficking efforts and information sharing between the OPP, municipal and First Nation police services, with a focus on investigations and prosecutions, education, identifying and supporting survivors, and standardized reporting.
- Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Team within Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario - $415,000
Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario works collaboratively with all police services in the province to proactively identify human trafficking and organized crime. The Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Team enhances intelligence efforts of police services related to the identification and interception of human trafficking networks, provincially and nationally.
Victim Services and Justice Sector Supports ($4.8 million):
- Victim/Witness Assistance Program
The Victim/Witness Assistance Program provides supports to victims of human trafficking and works collaboratively with police and Crowns. This includes specialized staff in locations with a high volume of human trafficking cases in Brampton, Newmarket, and Toronto.
- Victim Quick Response Program+
This program provides immediate critical supports to victims of violent crimes, including enhanced benefits for human trafficking victims, such as funding for tattoo removal and residential treatment for addictions. It also provides supports to victims of crimes such as domestic violence and sexual assault.
- Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario
Through this program, community-based service delivery partners provide support to victims of human trafficking, assisting victims to fill out forms, make calls, or accompanying them to appointments or meetings for healthcare, housing, police or other services. Work also includes strengthing relationships between service delivery agencies and Indigenous communities, and supporting the training of service providers who serve Indigenous communities. .
- Provincial Human Trafficking Prosecutions Team
A specialized team of Crown prosecutors ensures Ontario's prosecution service has the expertise, skill and capacity to prosecute human trafficking cases. This team works collaboratively with police and Victim/Witness Assistance Program services to prosecute human trafficking cases.
This funding is part of a range of investments Ontario is making to combat human trafficking, prevent and end violence against women, support victims of sexual violence and exploitation, and end gun and gang activity.