On Human Trafficking Awareness Day, the Anti-Human Trafficking Program – Community Wellbeing Branch, will be bringing awareness to some powerful facts about human trafficking and how it effects our communities. 

Did You know?

Did you know? February 22nd 2023, marks five years since the first Human Trafficking Awareness Day took place in Ontario.

Did you know? In 2020, the federal government proclaimed February 22nd as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Did you know?  The crime of ‘Trafficking in Persons’ was added to the Criminal Code of Canada in 2005, less than 20 years ago. The law criminalizes (makes illegal) forced organ removal, forced marriage, indentured servitude, labour exploitation, and sexual exploitation. These crimes are commonly known as human trafficking.

Did you know? In labour and sex trafficking, the victim/survivor is coerced or forced to perform labour and/or sexual acts. They are unable to negotiate fair compensation nor safe boundaries/working conditions, and their forced labour unjustly benefits another person(s). This is exploitation and abuse.

Did you know? The majority of trafficking cases handled by police in Ontario involve sex trafficking with women and girls as identified victims/survivors. Also, Métis, First Nations, and Inuit women, youth, and Two-Spirit/LGBTQ+ people are more likely to be targeted for, and impacted by sex trafficking and gender-based violence (GBV).

Did you know? In Ontario, there are a number of sex trafficking ‘hot spots”; urban regions where trafficking is more prevalent. Hot spots are Thunder Bay, Toronto, Ottawa and cities across southern Ontario. Various transportation routes that facilitate sex trafficking, called corridors, have also been identified. Routes include Highways 401, 17 & 11. Trafficking is also happening in communities across the province, outside of identified hot spots or corridors.

Did you know? Sex trafficking is an interpersonal crime rooted in abuse of power and control. Exploitation is often masked as love, protection, and/or hidden behind a false promise of a better life. Traffickers can be intimate/romantic partners, friends, acquaintances, family members, and more. Trafficking is a process that unfolds over time; usually involving dynamic stages of recruitment, grooming, isolation, and escalation of abuse and harm.

Did you know? Métis youth are vulnerable to luring and recruitment when (any of) their basic needs are not being met. Basic needs include housing, safety, food security, love, belonging, self esteem, cultural bonds, more.  These risk factors are connected to inequity, colonialism, poverty, intergenerational trauma, racism, social exclusion, bias against youth, etc. This pushes youth and survivors into situations of danger and risk and encourages conditions for violence and exploitation to continue.

Did you know? Métis survivors and youth at-risk of sex trafficking want, need, and deserve supportive, wrap-around, non-judgmental care that unconditionally meets them where they are at. This means supporting and prioritizing a person’s own solutions to increase the physical, emotional, and cultural safety in their life.

Did you know? Métis survivors and youth at-risk of sex trafficking want, need, and deserve to be connected to the land, Métis teachings, arts practices, animal kin, medicines, and one another. Métis culture is harm reduction. Métis culture is trauma-informed care. Métis culture is a protective factor that builds resilience and is a vital part of a Métis person’s journey through life.

Did you know? The MNO’s Community Wellbeing Branch has wraparound support for those who’ve experienced, or are at-risk of sex trafficking. The Anti-Human Trafficking and Victim Services programs are Métis-specific, trauma-informed, and rooted in harm reduction. To access support, contact the One MNO team at 1 (800) 263-4889 Ext. 7 to be directed to a Coordinator.

Did you know? You can access 24/7 info and support through the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (833) 900-1010 or online at https://www.canadianhumantraffickinghotline.ca/ . For a list of Ontario-wide 24/7 crisis supports, see below*.

Want to learn more?

English-language Crisis Supports in Ontario

All resources are free and available across Ontario. Services are accessible 24/7, unless stated otherwise.

Métis Nation of Ontario

Addictions & Mental Health Crisis Line: 1 (877) 767-7572

Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline

1 (833) 900-1010 or web chat via https://www.canadianhumantraffickinghotline.ca/

LGBT Youth Line

1 (800) 263-9688 or text (647) 694-4275

Web chat via https://www.youthline.ca/

 Kids Help Phone

1 (800) 668-6868

Text CONNECT to 686868

Trans Lifeline

1 (877) 330-6366

Talk 4 Healing for Indigenous Women

1 (855) 554- HEAL (4325)

Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MMIWG) Crisis Line

1 (844) 413-6649

Ontario Assaulted Women’s Helpline


TTY: 1-866-863-7868

Or text #SAFE (#7233) on Bell, Rogers, Fido or Telus Mobile device

Hope for Wellness Indigenous Help Line

1 (855) 242-3310

Talk Suicide Canada

1 (833) 456-4566

Text 45645 between 4 pm and midnight EST.

Ontario Online Text Crisis Service

Distress and Crisis Ontario

Available from 2 pm to 2 am*

Text SUPPORT to 258258

Web chat via https://www.dcontario.org/locations/#