Ontario Increasing Supports for Young Victims and Survivors of Human TraffickingPublished on December 11, 2020
The Ontario government is investing $46 million in the Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports and Indigenous-led Initiatives funds. They provide critical supports to children and youth who have experienced sexual exploitation, as well as survivor-led programming and Indigenous-specific services. The funding will be provided to 27 community-based projects and is part of the province’s $307 million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy, which aims to raise awareness of the issue, protect victims and intervene early, support survivors and hold offenders accountable.
The Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports and Indigenous-led Initiatives funds will provide support to underserved regions including Northern, rural and remote communities and increase French language services. They will also expand help for boys, individuals who identify as LGBTQ2S, people with developmental disabilities, children and youth transitioning out of child welfare or the youth justice system, and newcomers.
Examples of the new programs and services include:
- The creation of a youth response team at the Ontario Native Women’s Association to provide early intervention, street-based outreach, immediate response and referrals in 10 locations across the province, including Niagara, Ottawa, Thunder Bay and Toronto.
- Programs for children aged 12 to 18 at the Roberts - Smart Centre in Ottawa that provide mental health supports, residential services, life skills training and mentorship.
- A survivor-led peer mentoring and day program for children and youth at BridgeNorth in Newmarket, which provides supports from early intervention through to stabilization, transition and reintegration.
- The creation of a mobile team at Timmins and Area Women in Crisis, which will travel to five remote and 11 rural First Nation communities in the region, providing culturally appropriate and survivor-led programming in preferred languages for vulnerable and underserviced Indigenous communities.