Today, Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, issued the following statement regarding World Day Against Trafficking in Persons:
“Today, on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, I want to draw attention to the unfortunate prevalence of human trafficking across Ontario. I also want to recognize the survivors and stakeholders who are actively working to help raise awareness and combat this unspeakable crime.
Human trafficking robs the safety, livelihood and dignity of those who are being exploited and abused. Survivors face tremendous obstacles in leaving their traffickers, healing from their trauma and establishing a healthy life.
Today, and always, we must shed light on this appalling crime by talking about it openly.
We don’t often think something so terrible can happen close to our homes, but the reality is occurrences of sex trafficking are higher in Ontario than in any other province.
This is deeply concerning to me – both in my new role with responsibility for the well-being of women and children, and also to me personally, as a woman and mother of three daughters.
Our government is working to ensure those affected by violence and exploitation receive the supports they need, while cracking down on offenders.
Our focus is to listen so we can take the appropriate action to help women and girls across Ontario. That is why we have launched province-wide roundtable discussions on sex trafficking with stakeholders and survivors to help us create a more responsive and supportive system for individuals who have been trafficked and those at risk.
We must confront and eliminate the root causes of violence so future generations of women, children and everyone in the province, are safe to live their lives free from the threat of fear, exploitation and violence.”
If you are a victim/survivor of trafficking, or believe someone else might be, call the 24/7 Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.
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