Report calls Ontario 'major hub' for human trafficking, sexual violence

TORONTO -- A new report says Ontario has become a "major hub" for human trafficking and sexual violence in Canada, with most of the victims being local underage girls and young women.

See Full Article

The report by a provincial legislative committee is calling on the Liberal government to increase funding for the justice system and create a co-ordinated, province-wide strategy.

"These young women, girls really, underaged girls and children, are being forced into sex work in our cities and towns, and they really are the girls next door," said Progressive Conservative MPP Laurie Scott.

The government should provide the same sort of dedicated funding for an anti-trafficking task force as it did for Toronto's 'Guns and Gangs' initiative, Scott said.

The committee, which issued its report on the final day of the fall session Thursday, said human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is the most common form of trafficking in Canada, and Ontario is acting as a "major" hub.

"We need to send resources to law enforcement and to the justice system so there is a concentrated team that works throughout the province, because these girls are trafficked widely throughout the province on a daily basis," said Scott.

The committee travelled across Ontario hearing stories from 147 women who were victims of rape or sexual harassment. Committee members, including two former nurses and another who worked in a rape crisis centre, said despite their experience they were often in shock listening to women tell "gut wrenching" stories of sexual assaults.

"I don't think any of us were prepared for what we heard," said New Democrat MPP Peggy Sattler. "It was very difficult to control our own emotions as we watched survivors struggling to hold back tears as they relived the pain and trauma of what they went through."

Tracy MacCharles, the minister of children and youth services who is responsible for a sexual violence and harassment bill that is now before the legislature, said the committee's recommendations, including the call for a task force, will help strengthen her bill.

"I'm open to all good ideas on this," said MacCharles. "I'll be sitting down with the premier on this."

Liberal Daiene Vernile, who chaired the committee, said it's up to the government to decide how to proceed, but she wants to make sure the recommendations are implemented.

"For many witnesses, it was very difficult for them to appear before this committee, and reliving the trauma of being violated," she said. "But they did so hoping that there would be some kind of positive outcome, and we don't want to let them down."

The committee found almost 60 per cent of sexual assault victims in Canada are under the age of 18, and a quarter of them are under the age of 12. Most victims -- 92 per cent -- are women, and the overwhelming majority of attackers -- 99 per cent -- were men.

It also found Ontario lacks up-to-date statistics about the incidence of sexual harassment and childhood sexual abuses, and doesn't have a standardized system to track cases of human trafficking.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Threat looms of more mudslides in Sierra Leone amid burials

    World News CTV News
    FREETOWN, Sierra Leone - The president joined with families in paying final respects Thursday to victims of this week's mudslides and flooding in Sierra Leone's capital, while the government warned residents to evacuate a mountainside where a large crack opened. Source
  • Suspects with bomb belts killed in Cambrils after Barcelona terror attack, police say [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    BARCELONA, Spain — A white van jumped the sidewalk Thursday in Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. In a photograph shown by public broadcaster RTVE, three people were lying on the ground in the street of the northern Spanish city Thursday afternoon, apparently being helped by police and others. Source
  • Father charged in baby boy's fatal OD

    World News CTV News
    HAMILTON, Ohio -- An Ohio man has been charged in the fatal drug overdose of his 1-year-old son. Thirty-three-year-old Dorrico Brown, of Trenton, Ohio, was jailed Wednesday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering in the death of Dorrico Brown Jr. Source
  • 'I know how powerful hate is' — A one-time Canadian neo-Nazi speaks out on Charlottesville

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It has been 10 years since Elizabeth Moore has spoken publicly about her years as the pretty, public face of Canada’s neo-Nazi Heritage Front. Then came Charlottesville. “I know what these people are feeling. I know how powerful hate is,” Moore says from her Toronto home. Source
  • U.S. helping clear 'historic' amount of explosives in Mosul

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD -- The wires protruding from the small, misshapen stuffed animal revealed the deadly booby-trap tucked inside. For the people of Mosul, the sophisticated bomb was a reminder of how difficult it will be to return to homes littered with hidden explosives by Islamic State militants and dotted with the remnants of undetonated bombs dropped by the U.S. Source
  • As terrorists turn to truck attacks, cities invest in street-proofing

    World News CTV News
    Nice. Berlin. London. And now, Barcelona. Deadly attacks involving rented vehicles driven into crowds of pedestrians have been carried out in several cities with a horrific degree of similarity. In fact, the brutal method is promoted by ISIS online. Source
  • As terrorists turn to vehicle attacks, cities invest in street-proofing

    World News CTV News
    Nice. Berlin. London. And now, Barcelona. Deadly attacks involving rented vehicles driven into crowds of pedestrians have been carried out in several cities with a horrific degree of similarity. In fact, the brutal method is promoted by ISIS online. Source
  • Boat overturns off Haiti; 6 dead and at least 10 missing

    World News CTV News
    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Authorities in Haiti say at least six people drowned and about 10 are missing after a boat overturned off the northern coast. Local Civil Protection agency representative Jose Rethone says 23 people have been rescued and a search is continuing for more survivors near the city of Port-de-Paix. Source
  • No Canadians reported among dead or injured in Spain terror attack: Global Affairs [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — Canadians in Spain are being urged to avoid the Las Ramblas area in Barcelona, where a van has plowed through a crowd in the popular tourist area near the city centre. Global Affairs Canada is also urging Canadians in Spain to let their “loved ones know you are safe. Source
  • Michigan State University rejects white nationalist event

    World News CTV News
    DETROIT -- Michigan State University on Thursday denied a request by a group headed by white nationalist Richard Spencer to rent space on the campus for a September event, following rejections by other large schools. Source