Human Trafficking strategy

International Victims of Human Trafficking are more unlikely to contact authorities and look for support

FCJ Refugee Centre is commending Ontario Government’s efforts to end human trafficking in the Province. The announced investment of a $72 million budget in an anti-human trafficking strategy which includes raising public-awareness and improving survivor’s access to services, is encouraging and demonstrates provincial commitment to ultimately tackle the issues that encompass this complex crime.

“The announced strategy is long waited within the service providing organizations and their allies. It is certainly a step in the right direction” says Loly Rico Co-Director of FCJ Refugee Centre. “We are looking forward to hear the details of the announced strategy and hope that it will take into consideration the recommendations of all stakeholders who participated in the preceded community consultations. In particular, that provincial efforts will be equally focused on ending labour trafficking and supporting internationally trafficked persons.”

The province of Ontario is receiving the vast majority of immigrants, as well as “the highest number of migrant workers in all of Canada.  “International victims of human trafficking, including domestic workers and those working in the hospitality industry, are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse given the multiple intersectionalities of their identities such as immigration status, language barriers, experience with authorities in their countries of origin and so on. Therefore, they are more unlikely to contact authorities and look for support” says Varka Kalaydzhieva Anti-human Trafficking Coordinator in FCJ Refugee Centre. “These multiple barriers coupled with the lack of awareness in authorities, including police and stakeholders in judicial system, are some of the reasons why Canadian courts are seeing so few human trafficking cases where victims are non-Canadian residents.”

The FCJ Refugee Centre helps uprooted people overcome the challenges of rebuilding their lives in a new society. The Centre offers an integrated model of refugee protection, settlement services and education, including shelter for women and children. The Centre has a mandate to assist refugees and other uprooted people through their settlement process. The Centre offers direct services to internationally trafficked persons, including housing; provides training on human trafficking to service providing organizations and other frontline staff; facilitates the Toronto Counter Human Trafficking Network and is a member organization of the Canadian Council for Refugees Steering Committee against human trafficking.

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