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

  • Deaths of doctors, nurses highlight virus risks they run

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- Air raid sirens sounded across China and flags flew at half staff in a tribute Saturday to victims of the coronavirus pandemic including the health care "martyrs" who have died while fighting to save others. Source
  • Trump fires watchdog who handled complaint that triggered impeachment

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump has fired the intelligence watchdog who handled the complaint that triggered his impeachment. Trump informed the Senate intelligence committee Friday of his decision to fire Michael Atkinson, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. Source
  • Trump fires watchdog who handled whistleblower complaint that triggered impeachment

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump has fired the intelligence watchdog who handled the complaint that triggered his impeachment. Trump informed the Senate intelligence committee Friday of his decision to fire Michael Atkinson, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. Source
  • Another member of fire panel resigns, criticizes PG&E plan

    World News CTV News
    BERKELEY, CALIF. -- The former chief financial officer for a Northern California city destroyed in a 2018 wildfire caused by Pacific Gas & Electric equipment is trying to upend the utility's plan for getting out of bankruptcy because she believes the company is shortchanging the people devastated by its misconduct. Source
  • Alberta health minister used confidential information to call protesting doctors

    Canada News CBC News
    When Dr. John Julyan-Gudgeon went to a hospital event to protest health-care cuts, he didn't expect it to lead to an after-hours phone call on his personal cellphone from the health minister. But that's exactly what happened. The doctor attended a provincial funding announcement at the Red Deer Regional Hospital on Feb. Source
  • Judge demands FBI provide new details about its surveillance

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The chief judge of a secretive national security court demanded Friday that the FBI provide him with details about some of its investigations after the Justice Department inspector general identified problems with more than two dozen wiretap applications. Source
  • Major credit card companies raise tap limit to $250 to help cut spread of COVID-19

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Major credit card companies have increased their tap limit to $250 to help customers who want to make less physical contact while shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. MasterCard and Visa raised the tap limits from $100 to $250 and the Retail Council of Canada is hoping that Interac will soon follow. Source
  • 'Always new expenses': Lawsuits filed as anniversary of Broncos bus crash nears

    Canada News CBC News
    It's been almost two years since the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan and with the solemn anniversary comes a closing legal window that has seen several lawsuits filed in court. Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured after a transport truck barrelled through a stop sign and into the path of the bus carrying the junior hockey team on April 6, 2018. Source
  • Ontario premier slams Donald Trump's decision to cease exports of N95 masks to Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford has slammed United States President Donald Trump's decision to cease exports of manufacturing giant 3M's N95 face masks to Canada. "I just can't stress how disappointed I am at President Trump for making this decision," Ford said at Queen’s Park on Friday. Source
  • Relatives of the Kennedy family reported missing after canoe ride in Maryland

    World News CTV News
    Authorities were searching Friday for the daughter and a grandson of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend after a canoe they were paddling in the Chesapeake Bay didn't return to shore. Gov. Larry Hogan identified the missing relatives as Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and McKean's 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean. Source