Ontario Launches New Tools to Help Prevent Human TraffickingPublished on September 08, 2020
Ontario Launches New Tools to Help Prevent Human Trafficking
These educational resources are part of the government’s plan to raise awareness and stop this crime before it happens
As students prepare to head back to school, the Ontario government continues to raise awareness about sexual exploitation and human trafficking among children and youth. Two new educational resources launched today will help prevent human trafficking by teaching kids how to recognize if they are being targeted by a trafficker and making sure they know where to get help. These new tools are part of the province's $307 million comprehensive anti-human trafficking plan.
The new tools are designed to provide innovative ways to actively engage youth in discussions about human trafficking and provide culturally-specific resources for Indigenous communities. They respond directly to needs identified by frontline service providers, survivors of human trafficking and Indigenous communities and organizations.
"Speak Out: Stop Sex Trafficking" is an Indigenous-focused anti-human trafficking educational campaign, designed by and for Indigenous people, that provides information about sexual exploitation and human trafficking - how to recognize it, why Indigenous people may be particularly vulnerable to being targeted and where to go for help. Resources include a website, downloadable materials for distribution in communities, and culturally relevant activities to help leaders and caregivers facilitate conversations with youth, to raise awareness and provide support.
"The Trap" is a Human Trafficking Digital Education Tool designed to raise awareness about sex trafficking among middle and high school-aged children and teens. The interactive tool allows youth to experience what it feels like to be targeted and recruited by a sex trafficker through an immersive chat experience. It features scenarios based on real-life experiences and with the support of an adult facilitator, youth learn the skills they need to stay safe.
The tools released today complement Ontario's updated Health and Physical Education curriculum for grades 1-8 implemented last September. This new curriculum also equips children with important skills to help protect themselves against sex trafficking. These new tools also respond directly to Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to develop and implement awareness and education programs for Indigenous children and youth on the issue of sexual exploitation.
Raising awareness about human trafficking is a key commitment in Ontario's new strategy to combat human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. Announced in March 2020, the strategy will invest $307 million over the next five years on a comprehensive plan to raise awareness of the issue, protect victims and intervene early, support survivors and hold offenders accountable.