House urges premier to adopt
TORONTO, July 29, 2015 –
Kathleen Wynne was urged today to do more to combat the scourge of sex
trafficking in the province by Canada’s largest homeless youth agency.
Click here to read the letter.
the eve of the United Nations Day Against Trafficking in Persons, Covenant
House Toronto appealed to the premier to adopt a broader, more coordinated
approach to tackle the victimization of local girls and young women.
agency also launched a public awareness video aimed at dispelling the myth that
sex trafficking is an international issue and educating the public about this
horrific and highly lucrative crime.
has seen the bulk of cases of this form of modern day slavery that most often
ensnares local girls. Between 2006 and 2011, almost half the charges laid
across Canada were in Toronto. The city has been identified as a hub for trafficking
in the province. Most Ontario victims are local, as young as 13 and on average,
Premier Wynne’s leadership, the province could escalate its efforts to tackle
this horrific and lucrative crime,” Bruce Rivers, Covenant House executive
province could strengthen its efforts with coordinated law enforcement,
consistent, specialized services for victims and targeted public awareness
provinces, like British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba, have taken similar
approaches. British Columbia has created a provincial policy framework while
Alberta coordinates its efforts through community agencies. Rivers said Ontario
could draw on these examples to strengthen initiatives it already has in
homeless youth are a prime target for sex traffickers, Rivers says they are
luring unsuspecting girls and young women in malls, schoolyards and online.
more than 30 years’ experience providing hands-on services to young victims of
sex trafficking, Covenant House has been increasing its services to victims and
its advocacy efforts around the issue as it has seen its caseload double in the
past year to 40 victims. Increasingly, they have been young, middle-class
said the agency would welcome the opportunity to help the government develop
new measures as would the many community groups dedicated to this cause.
with an online petition urging the Ontario government to mobilize its efforts,
Covenant House has created a four-minute video – a dramatization of the
real-life experience of “Amy”, a young woman forced into prostitution by a
trafficker she thought was her boyfriend. The video serves as a tool to educate
parents about what to look for if they fear their daughter may be involved in
sex trafficking while also warning girls about the dangers of trafficking.
For more, contact:
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