December 11, 2020
The Province of Ontario announced $3.1M in funding for the Region of Peel to support an integrated services hub for victims, survivors and individuals at-risk of human sex trafficking. The Region of Peel is currently implementing a three-year Strategy to Address Human Sex Trafficking. This pilot strategy was endorsed by Peel Regional Council in 2018 and provides $1.8 million per year for services for victims, survivors and those at-risk of human sex trafficking.
Human sex trafficking impacts the lives of large numbers of individuals, primarily women, with many victims facing long-lasting effects of trauma. The average age of victims is 12 to 24 years old, and Ontario accounts for more than 70% of reported cases in Canada. In addition, 62% of Canadian human trafficking cases originate in the GTA, in part due to access to major highways and an international airport.
The Region is working with all levels of Government to combat human trafficking in all its forms. The Region is addressing the issue through awareness, as well as supports, operating an emergency safe house and transitional house for victims. Peel’s strategy aligns with the Province of Ontario’s anti-human trafficking strategy 2020-2025.
This funding will support Catholic Family Services of Peel-Dufferin with the integrated services hub for children and youth (aged 12 and up) providing on-site health care, trauma counselling, addictions support, legal aid, education and employment services.
The framework addresses human sex trafficking through:
- Prevention – To increase awareness via learning modules and training for Regional frontline staff
- Intervention – Coordinated support to bring services to victims. Core services include trauma counselling, health care, client and system navigation, case management and outreach. In-kind complementary services include life and job skills, legal support and education
- Exits – A dedicated safe house and transitional house for victims and survivors
This approach allows us to support victims, survivors and those at-risk of human sex trafficking, bridge the gap in services and provide safe housing and dedicated services.
The Region collaborates with Peel Regional Police, community partners and many organizations across Peel and the Greater Toronto Area to address human trafficking and reduce victimization. For more information on the Peel Human Trafficking Service Providers Committee, the Peel Anti-Human Sex Trafficking task force or to see the Region’s full strategy, please visit https://www.peelregion.ca/human-sex-trafficking/.
If you’re a victim or survivor of human sex trafficking or forced labour, or you know someone who is, contact the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.
About the Region of Peel
The Region of Peel works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe and connected Community for Life for approximately 1.5 million people and over 175,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon. Peel’s services touch the lives of residents every day. For more information about the Region of Peel, explore peelregion.ca and follow us on Twitter @regionofpeel and Instagram @peelregion.ca.