Release of Research Report on Human Trafficking in Ontario
A total of 551 cases of human trafficking involving Ontario as a source, transit or destination point were reported to the Alliance Against Modern Slavery's Research Team for the period between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013.
“The findings in this report reveal that the province of Ontario urgently needs to invest in system changes, revise its child welfare legislation, fund shelters, develop a province-wide action plan, and a provincial task force to take a proactive approach to combatting human trafficking,” said AAMS president, Karlee Sapoznik.
Among its important highlights, the Alliance Against Modern Slavery Ontario Coalition Research Report on The Incidence of Human Trafficking in Ontario reveals that: approximately 62.9% of victims trafficked to, through, within or from Ontario were Canadian citizens, 90% of these individuals were female, 63% of trafficked persons were between the ages of 15-24, and the most common age of trafficked persons was 17 years old at 18%.
The majority of individuals were recruited through a personal contact (84.6%).
Within Ontario, the General Toronto Area (GTA) was the most common destination site for human trafficking. The city of Toronto was also a significant transit point, acting as a hub for a number of human trafficking routes.
Within Canada, individuals were trafficked to Ontario from the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Individuals trafficked to Ontario from foreign countries were trafficked from: Afghanistan, Antigua, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Thailand, the United States, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
From Ontario individuals were trafficked to the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Quebec, and to the countries of Afghanistan, England and the United States.
96.5% of victims experienced some or multiple forms of violence.
Overall, males were predominately trafficked for the purpose of forced labour. Significantly, females were more likely than males to be trafficked in every category of trafficking reported.
Out of those who were trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation (68.5%), one (0.7%) was male and 67.8% were female. Out of those who were trafficked for the purpose of forced labour (24.5%), 8.4% were male and 16.1% were female. Out of those trafficked for the purpose of a forced marriage (7.7%), all 7.7% were female. Additionally, out of those trafficked for the purpose of petty crime (6.3%), all 6.3% were female.
In almost half of the cases (49.7%), individuals spent from less than 1 year up to 2 years in slavery.
The four biggest challenges that organizations faced when assisting victims of trafficking were: Organizational funding/financial resources (46.9%), lack of housing (46.2%), providing financial support to the victim (42.7%), and finding counselling for the victim (37.1%).
Other problems identified included providing medical support (21%), finding legal support (14.7%), the lack of proper risk assessments (13.3%), obtaining police support (12.6%), regressive immigration policies (11.2%), accessing Federal Government assistance (5.6%), and a lack of understanding from children’s aid services (2.8%).
Alarmingly, in 24.5% of cases, it was not known if follow-up attempts with the trafficked person had taken place.
Out of the 2.1% of victims that pursued a civil claim in civil court, only one received a financial settlement.