New hope for human trafficking victims in Ontario

TORONTO, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - Today's announcement by the Ontario government to launch a new three-pronged approach to fight human trafficking will mean better resources for police to disrupt and prosecute traffickers and greater support for victim services.

This support is desperately needed to end this form of modern-day slavery. Ontario is home to the largest number of foreign human trafficking victims in Canada. Traffickers recruit and advertise girls as young as 14 for the sex trade often using coercion, deception and force. They are bought and sold like cattle to "pimps" or "boyfriends" who lie, threaten and deceive them. Until now, the province lacked a coordinated approach to combat the insidious crime of human trafficking.

"It is encouraging to see the government taking a proactive step to stop the abuse of victims and the attack on human dignity," said Alan Broadbent, Chairman of Maytree. "This new coordinated approach is a first in Ontario toward addressing this complex issue."

Benjamin Perrin, author of Invisible Chains: Canada's Underground World of Human Trafficking, also lauds the province's efforts. With support from Maytree, Professor Perrin has investigated and documented human trafficking cases and has advised the federal and provincial governments on this issue.

"The province has joined other provinces across the country in taking its first steps to fighting human trafficking and protecting its victims," added Professor Perrin. "No doubt, the government will find that this tragedy occurs all too often in Ontario and that this investment is worth building on."

Human trafficking in Canada involves the sexual exploitation and forced labour of a diverse array of victims: Canadian citizens and newcomers, adults and children, women and men. For more information on human trafficking and what can be done to fight it, visit the end modern-day slavery website: http://www.endmoderndayslavery.ca.

About Maytree
Established in 1982, Maytree promotes equity and prosperity and the building of strong urban communities through its policy insights, grants and programs. The organization has been recognized for its expertise in developing, testing and implementing programs and policy solutions related to immigration, integration and diversity. www.maytree.com.

Invisible Chains, by Benjamin Perrin, is the first book to expose the issue of human trafficking in Canada. It is based on a three-year investigation and documents cases reported by police, provincial officials, immigration, and non-governmental organizations as well as accounts from victims and their families. It also evaluates Canada's response and makes specific recommendations to government, police and average Canadians. www.invisiblechains.ca.

SOURCE Maytree Foundation

For further information:

Media contact:
Markus Stadelmann-Elder, Communications Manager, Maytree
p: (416) 944-2627 x 284, c: (416) 271-5654, e: mselder@maytree.com

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Maytree Foundation

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