Covenant House Sex-Trafficking Specialist wins Ontario Victim Services Award

Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur (left) presents a 2015 Victim Services Award of Distinction to Michele Anderson of Covenant House.

TORONTO, ON, April 23, 2015 – Michele Anderson, Covenant House Toronto sex-trafficking specialist, who has spent more than 20 years supporting young victims, was among the recipients of today’s Ontario Attorney General’s Victim Services Awards of Distinction.

The awards are presented annually to recognize the exceptional achievement of dedicated professionals and volunteers in the field of victim services as well as the good work of individual victims.

“Michele is an exceptionally committed and passionate champion for victims of exploitation,” says Bruce Rivers, Covenant House executive director. “She is most deserving of this recognition for her tireless advocacy and supporting those in her care to reclaim their lives. Michele has also forged vital partnerships with police and other community agencies to improve services for these victims.

Michele’s extensive experience and expertise resulted in her appointment as the agency’s human trafficking specialist in 2013. She is responsible for the case management of victims of domestic and international sex trafficking that includes identification, interventions, ongoing counselling and supporting youth through the arduous legal process when they choose to seek justice.

As an anti-trafficking advocate, Michele works collaboratively with numerous community partners, including the Toronto Police Service’s Human Trafficking Enforcement Team. She provided instrumental support to the victims involved in Toronto’s first human trafficking conviction in 2014.

Michele is a frequent speaker at local and national anti-trafficking forums and provides training sessions to audiences that have included municipal staff and police. Her recent workshop with City of Toronto municipal licensing staff is among the first comprehensive training sessions in Canada offered to these city staff on trafficking issues and indicators. She is a member of the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network (TCHTN) and was a presenter at the Alliance Against Modern Slavery’s Symposium. Michele has contributed to the Ontario Coalition Research Initiative on the “Incidence of Human Trafficking in Ontario” and Justice Canada’s Forum on Forced Marriage.

The awards were presented to 15 recipients at a ceremony at Queen Park’s today and encourage the sharing of best practices and unique achievements among victim services professionals and volunteers across the province.

Link to interview with Michele on CityNews: Modern pimps have more resources to lure vulnerable women

For more, contact:

Contact: Rose Cino
Manager, Communications
(416) 204-7081

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