WINDSOR, ONT. —
The Ontario government announced Monday it would be investing up to $46 million in community-based and Indigenous-specific supports for young victims of sex trafficking.
The Anti-Human Trafficking Community Supports Fund and the Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund will focus on early intervention and increased protection for child and youth victims of sexual exploitation as well as survivor support, a news release from the government of Ontario stated. The funds will be invested over a five year period.
“Over the last year, we heard from our frontline agencies, survivors and Indigenous communities and organizations that there is a critical need to increase available supports for children and youth affected by sex trafficking,” said Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues. “Our goal is to build a more comprehensive network of anti-human trafficking services across Ontario, so more victims have access to the supports they need.”
In March, Ontario’s Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy pledged $307 million over the next five years on a plan to raise awareness, protect victims, early intervention, survivor support and accountability for offenders.
The funding will be available to agencies with a focus on areas such as:
- Trauma-informed programming developed and delivered by survivor-led organizations,
- Dedicated services for victims under age 18, including residential placements and treatment, peer mentoring, as well as education and employment training programs;
- Culturally-appropriate, Indigenous-designed supports for First Nations, Inuit and Métis victims, families and communities;
- Targeted supports for sexually exploited boys, individuals with developmental disabilities, LGBTQ2S individuals, and racialized and newcomer populations;
- Specialized programs for children and youth involved in or transitioning out of child welfare or the youth justice system.
Applications to the Community Supports Fund and Indigenous-led Initiatives Fund will be accepted until 5 p.m. on July 30.