New Campaigns will Educate Youths and Crack Down on Human Trafficking

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Two new online tools launched this week that aim to educate youths on human trafficking. Just in time for the new school year, the tools were created as part of the Ontario Government’s anti-human trafficking plan. 

The programs were created in response to the needs identified by frontline service providers, survivors of human trafficking and Indigenous communities and organizations. They intend to engage youth in discussions about sex trafficking and provide culturally-specific resources for Indigenous communities. 

Speak Out: Stop Sex Trafficking

The Speak Out: Stop Sex Trafficking program is an Indigenous-focused anti-human trafficking educational website with downloadable materials for distribution in communities, and culturally relevant activities to help leaders and caregivers facilitate conversations with youth, to raise awareness and provide support. 

The campaign is designed by and for Indigenous people, and provides information on how to recognize sexual exploitation and human trafficking, and explains why Indigenous people may be particularly vulnerable to being targeted and where to go for help. 

The Trap

The Trap is a human trafficking digital education tool designed to raise awareness about sex trafficking among middle and high school-aged children and teens. Youths are able to experience what it's like to be targeted and recruited by a sex traffickers in this interactive tool through an immersive chat experience. It features scenarios based on real-life experiences and with the support of an adult facilitator, youth learn the skills they need to stay safe.

Human trafficking is a serious crime that is on the rise across Ontario and the government says they are committed to holding human traffickers accountable. By providing education and building awareness of how human trafficking happens the province hopes to help protect our children and youth from predatory activity. These new tools are part of  the government's comprehensive plan to combat human trafficking, bring traffickers to justice and end heinous crimes.

The campaigns complement Ontario's updated Health and Physical Education curriculum for grades 1-8 implemented last September. They respond directly to Calls for Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls to develop and implement awareness and education programs for Indigenous children and youth on the issue of sexual exploitation.

Ontario has committed $307 million over the next five years on a comprehensive strategy to strategy to raise awareness on human trafficking and child sexual exploitation protect victims and intervene early, support survivors and hold offenders accountable. 

For more information on the Comprehensive Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking announced in March of 2020, visit the Government of Ontario Newsroom.