Mississauga – Human trafficking is a heinous crime that disproportionately affects women and girls. Indigenous people, migrants and immigrants and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals are often at greater risk. The Government of Canada is committed to ending human trafficking in all its forms and that starts with raising awareness.
While visiting Mississauga, Ontario, the Minister of Public Safety, Marco Mendicino, met with EFRY Hope and Help for Women where the Empowering Against Exploitation project is shifting youth’s attitudes, knowledge, and skills around exploitation and sex trafficking. This project is supported with an investment of $273,000 over four years, made available under Public Safety Canada’s Contribution Program to Combat Serious and Organized Crime.
The Empowering Against Exploitation project is a survivor-informed prevention initiative that is offered directly in schools, group homes, shelters, community centres and justice sites. It focuses on preventing exploitation and sex trafficking, by raising awareness among youth about grooming and recruitment tactics. It also addresses sexual and emotional health, online safety, and risk factors, like substance abuse. The project promotes self-esteem and connects youth with resources on how and where to access a range of social supports.
Combatting human trafficking requires urgent action in close partnership with industry and civil society. As we work toward building a safer and more resilient Canada, the Government of Canada stands committed to supporting these efforts, through the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking. With over $60 million in federal funding, work continues to advance our comprehensive plan to tackle this gendered crime through prevention, which includes innovative and community-led awareness efforts and survivor empowerment.
“Tragically, human trafficking is a crime that continues to be underreported and combatting it requires urgent action. This federal funding is being used to deliver educational programming for at-risk youth to prevent this inhuman crime from happening in the first place. We stand with survivors and must continue working together to put an end to this complex problem and build a Canada free from exploitation and violence.” – Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety