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Province passes bill to strengthen fight against human trafficking


July 25, 2021
By Blue Line Staff

July 25, 2021 – In June, the Ontario government announced the passing of new legislation and made amendments to existing legislation to build upon the province’s $307 million Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes worldwide. Ontario is a hub for human trafficking in Canada—the most police-reported incidents of human trafficking in the country occurred within the province in 2019. The average age of recruitment into sex trafficking is 13 and nearly 65 per cent of victims identified by police are under the age of 25.

The new legislation includes two new acts—the Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy Act, 2021 and the Accommodation Sector Registration of Guests Act, 2021—as well as amendments to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 and the Prevention of and Remedies for Human Trafficking Act, 2017.

Their purpose is to build on the government’s response to combat human trafficking by:

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  • Increasing awareness of the issue/supporting long-term provincial response;
  • Aiding more survivors in obtaining restraining orders against traffickers,
    with specific consideration for Indigenous survivors;
  • Strengthening the ability of children’s aid societies and law enforcement to protect exploited children;
  • Increasing penalties for offenders;
  • Clarifying how/when police services can access information from hotel guest registers to help deter trafficking and identify/locate victims.

The Combating Human Trafficking Act also requires companies that advertise sexual services to have a dedicated contact to support investigations into suspected human trafficking.