Ontario passes legislation to protect human trafficking survivors
Yesterday, Ontario passed the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2017, which will increase protection for survivors of human trafficking and make it easier for survivors to pursue compensation.
The Act enables people affected by human trafficking (including people who have been trafficked, or are at risk of being trafficked) to apply for a restraining order to protect themselves or their children from traffickers. It also makes it possible for survivors to sue their traffickers for compensation through civil court in order to help survivors restore and rebuild their lives.
“Human trafficking impacts the most vulnerable in our society. I’m proud our government is making a strong commitment to protect those most at risk. This legislation is an important step forward to help survivors live without fear, reclaim their lives, and heal. Supporting survivors and protecting those at risk is the right thing to do,” said Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of the Status of Women.
The Act also proclaims February 22nd of each year as Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Ontario, to build public focus on this deplorable crime and promote the many community efforts underway to counter trafficking in the province.
- Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, accounting for roughly 69 per cent of police-reported cases nationally in 2015.
- In Ontario, approximately 70 per cent of known cases of human trafficking are related to sexual exploitation.