Covenant House awarded UN grant to aid sex-trafficked victims

TORONTO, ON, May 20, 2015 – Young sex-trafficked victims in Covenant House Toronto’s care will get more help thanks to a multi-year grant from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons.

The UNODC fund recently awarded the homeless youth agency $60,000 over the next three years to support its work with young, female victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation. The funding will help the agency to provide counselling, transitional housing and support through the legal process for those who choose to seek justice.

The fund supports actual, on-the-ground humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of trafficking.

“We are very grateful for the financial support and for UNODC’s recognition of our work with these young victims who are in such critical need,” Bruce Rivers, Covenant House executive director, said. “As we increase our anti-trafficking efforts, we are working to do more to prevent this terrible crime and to improve victim services.

In January, Covenant House announced plans for the city’s first transitional housing program for trafficked and exploited victims as the first step in its broader anti-trafficking plan.

While homeless youth are at high risk of traffickers on the street, unsuspecting young girls and young women are also being lured online, in malls and school yards, Rivers explained. The agency has worked with trafficked and exploited victims since it opened 33 years ago.

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

For more, contact:

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

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