Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that his government will provide over $7 million over five years to support victims and survivors of human trafficking.
On Monday, Ford said Ontario will give $7.65 million to frontline victims services organizations for specialized services to support human trafficking victims.
According to the province, a portion of this funding will be directed to Victim Services Toronto, Victim Services of York Region and the province’s other Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario organizations.
“Through our government’s anti-human trafficking strategy, we are helping young women and children escape a living nightmare and rebuild their lives,” Ford said.
“We will continue to work with police to give them the tools and resources they need to go after the thugs responsible for this disgusting crime and put them behind bars where they belong.”
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Some of the funding will be given to the Victim Quick Response Program+ to help human trafficking survivors cover essential expenses, like accommodation, meals, transportation, dental care, mobile phones and tattoo removal.
The funding will also go towards enhanced services under Victim Crisis Assistance Ontario to enable frontline staff across Ontario to address the needs of human trafficking survivors, particularly children and Indigenous persons.
As well as to expand funding to the Vulnerable Victims and Family Fund “to cover court-related expenses for human trafficking victims and survivors, including basic necessities such as weather or courtroom-appropriate attire, and costs associated with travel, meals and accommodations.”
The funding announced today is part of the government’s anti-human trafficking strategy released in March, which includes a $307 million investment over five years.
According to the province, the strategy aims to raise awareness about human trafficking, protect victims and intervene early, support survivors, and hold offenders accountable.