Ontario Acts to Protect Students from Sex TraffickingPublished on July 08, 2021
Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes worldwide. Ontario is a hub for human trafficking, with the most police-reported incidents of human trafficking in the country occurring within the province in 2019, accounting for approximately 55 per cent of all police-reported incidents of human trafficking nationally.
The government is taking action by releasing a first-of-its-kind school-based strategy & policy framework that will now require all boards in Ontario to have a plan in place to counter trafficking.
This framework — informed by survivors, law enforcement, educators & community — will ensure school boards and school staff have the tools to recognize, identify, respond and prevent the sex trafficking of children and youth.
Ontario school boards will now be required to establish key partnerships and regionally tailored anti-sex trafficking protocols, supported by a $2.4 million investment for the implementation of this new framework.
School boards will collaborate with community and police organizations with the goal of having protocols in place for all provincially funded schools in January 2022.
This framework is in addition to other government initiatives to tackle human trafficking, including:
- Explicitly adding human trafficking and sex trafficking to the elementary Health and Physical Education curriculum in 2019.
- Funding the development of online educator resources and classroom resources focused on the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and youth.
- Developing Ontario’s Human Trafficking Digital Education Tool (Indigenous-focused awareness campaign).