Ontario’s human trafficking force has helped 61 victims since late 2021

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Raising awareness about human trafficking in Canada
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A team of dedicated human trafficking investigators in Ontario says they have assisted 61 victims since the force’s inception in December 2021.

Ontairo’s Human Trafficking Intelligence-led Joint Forces Strategy (IJFS) and members of other police forces say they conducted 65 investigations that have helped dozens of victims.

Police said the victims range from age 12 to 47.

They also said officers laid 72 human trafficking charges and laid 167 other charges against 28 people. The accused range in age from 18 to 44 years old.

The Ontario government funded the IJFS which is assigned to assist police forces in identifying, investigating and disrupting multi-jurisdictional human trafficking organizations operating within the province.

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“Due to the transient nature of human trafficking, one police service cannot battle human trafficking alone – we rely on our law enforcement and community partners and on the public for support,” said Detective Inspector Jordan Whitesell, OPP IJFS lead.

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“Together with the members of the IJFS, we will continue to fight for those who cannot, for those who live in fear, for those who do not feel like their life is their own,” Whitesell said.

Click to play video: 'Public Safety Canada on Human Trafficking'
Public Safety Canada on Human Trafficking

Police said approximately 50 per cent of the trafficked women and girls in Canada are Indigenous.

“Human trafficking investigations are complex and often require a cross-jurisdictional approach as they may cross into other areas of Ontario,” police said.

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Investigators said the median length of time to complete a human trafficking case is 382 days.

The 21 participating police agencies include Anishinabek, Akwesasne, Barrie, Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Niagara, OPP, Ottawa, Peel, Peterborough, Six Nations, Greater Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Treaty Three, Waterloo, Windsor and York.

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