For Immediate Release
May 14, 2015
SCOTT TAKES ACTION TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING
QUEEN’S PARK – Today Laurie Scott, MPP, Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock and the PC Caucus critic for Women’s Issues, stood in the Legislature to debate the Private Member’s motion which calls on the Liberal government to immediately take action and create a provincial task force to combat human trafficking in Ontario.
“Over the last several months, I have spoken with police services, victim’s services and NGO’s from across Ontario. It is clear that domestic human trafficking is a growing problem and a provincial strategy that includes a public awareness campaign is needed to combat it,” said Scott.
Human trafficking, often described as a form of modern day slavery, is a unique crime in that the commodity, the victim, is sexually exploited, earning a trafficker over $280,000 per year from just one victim. In 2014, there were 149 occurrences of human trafficking leading to 365 charges laid by Toronto Police Services alone.
“The province is home to the largest number of domestic human trafficking cases, where the victims are born and raised right here in Ontario. These victims are manipulated by their trafficker, removed from their normal life to live and work in horrific conditions. They are moved from one community to another, particularly along Highway 401, where their ‘services’ are offered through online ads and social media,” said Scott.
The motion calls for a provincial task force to combat human trafficking in Ontario, having a structure, complement and funding model similar to the existing Guns and Gangs Provincial Task Force. This new initiative would create a team of police, prosecutors and victim’s services dedicated exclusively to fighting human trafficking and allow for co-ordinated information sharing between police services, large scale multi-jurisdictional enforcement projects and consistent specialized services for victims.
The motion received all party support this afternoon in the Legislature. “I encourage this Liberal government to immediately establish the Task Force, so we can finally start tackling this problem” concluded Scott.