Province Increasing Protections and Holding Traffickers Accountable
As part of Ontario's Strategy to End Human Trafficking, Minister of the Status of Women, Indira Naidoo-Harris, introduced legislation today that would, if passed, increase protection for survivors and those at risk of human trafficking.
The Anti-Human Trafficking Act, 2017 would create two statutes, Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking Act, 2017 and Human Trafficking Awareness Day Act, 2017. These statutes, if passed, would:
Allow individuals to apply for restraining orders against human traffickers
Make it easier for survivors of human trafficking to get compensation from those who trafficked them
Proclaim February 22 of each year as Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Ontario.
In addition to these two new acts, the province has made two regulatory changes that would help survivors of human trafficking by allowing them to sue those who have been convicted of trafficking them for emotional distress and allowing community organizations that support survivors of trafficking to apply for grant funding under Ontario's Civil Remedies Act, 2001.
The Strategy to End Human Trafficking, launched in June 2016, aims to increase awareness and coordination, enhance justice-sector initiatives and improve survivors' access to services. It also reflects the diverse perspectives of survivors, front-line community agencies, public safety representatives, and Indigenous organizations.
Supporting survivors and protecting those at risk of trafficking is a part of the government's vision to ensure that everyone in the province can live in safety -- free from the threat, fear or experience of exploitation and violence.