Public Safety Canada  Shines Light on Human Trafficking with New Awareness Campaign Exhibit  

Media advisory

July 30th marks World Day Against Trafficking in Persons with exhibit in downtown Toronto

July 29, 2021 – TORONTO, Ontario – Human trafficking is a heinous crime, with serious impacts on victims and survivors, their families, communities and society as a whole.

A public awareness campaign was developed to challenge public misperceptions around this issue and encourage Canadians to get the facts. Human trafficking is a complex crime and is often misunderstood. Traffickers get their victims to comply through different forms of coercion, and exploit them through activities usually related to sexual services or forced labour.

Friday July 30th is the United Nations’ World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. We’re inviting Torontonians to visit an educational pop-up exhibit located at Yonge-Dundas Square from July 30th to August 2nd. In August, the exhibit will make its way to Ottawa and London, Ontario. Locations near the Hwy 401 were chosen based on the association of human trafficking corridors, routinely used by traffickers to move victims for the purpose of exploitation.

The eye-opening awareness campaign was developed to encourage Canadians to broaden their knowledge about the issue, and highlight that human trafficking is often not what it seems. Both the campaign and interactive exhibit examine common misperceptions about human trafficking, provide education to youth and parents on warning signs to look out for, and highlight relevancy of the domestic situation within Canada. The prevalence of human trafficking incidents in large cities may be partly attributable to a higher demand for sexual services in these areas. About one in five (17%) human trafficking incidents reported in 2019 were in the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Toronto.[1]

In advance of the launch to the public on July 30, media are invited to schedule virtual interviews on July 29:

What: Advance availability to schedule digital/virtual interviews and tour an interactive exhibit designed to educate Canadians about the key facts and insights of Human Trafficking in Canada

Where: Yonge-Dundas Square

When: Friday, July 30, 2021 from 7am - 10am and 4pm - 6pm

Available for interviews are:

  • Kevin Miller, Spokesperson, Public Safety Canada
  • Erin Rogers, Spokesperson, Public Safety Canada
  • Tim Warmington, Spokesperson, Public Safety Canada
  • Magali Deussing, Spokesperson (French), Public Safety Canada
  • Julia Drydyk, Executive Director, The Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking

Key statistics of interest:

  • More than two thirds of police-reported incidents of human trafficking between 2009-2019 occurred in Ontario, most of which happen along the Highway 401 corridor, a popular route for sex traffickers which includes Toronto[2].
  • Police-reported incidents of human trafficking are on the rise in Canada – from 50 cases in 2009 to 510 in 2019[3].
  •  When asked to define the term, 95% of Canadians confused human trafficking with human smuggling.[4]
  • The average victim in Canada is female, 14-22 years of age, and already lives in this country.[5]
  • In 60% of cases, the person responsible is someone the victim knows, such as a friend, acquaintance, or current or former intimate partner.[6]

If you or someone you know may be in danger of human trafficking, call 911 or contact the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010. For more information please visit the Government of Canada website: www.canada.ca/human-trafficking (www.canada.ca/traite-des-personnes)

For more information and media opportunities, please contact:

Brigitte Kenny
Brigitte@HypePR.ca
647-967-3272

[1]  Trafficking Persons in Canada, Statistics Canada (2019) 
https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-005-x/2021001/article/00001-eng.htm

[2]  Trafficking Persons in Canada, Statistics Canada (2019) 
https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-005-x/2021001/article/00001-eng.htm

[3] Trafficking Persons in Canada, Statistics Canada (2019) 
https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-005-x/2021001/article/00001-eng.htm

[4] Human Trafficking Public Awareness Research, Public Safety Canada (2020) https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-005-x/2021001/article/00001-eng.htm

[5]  Human Trafficking Public Awareness Research, Public Safety Canada (2020) 
https://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/200/301/pwgsc-tpsgc/por-ef/public_safety_canada/2020/058-19-e/index.html

[6] Human Trafficking Public Awareness Research, Public Safety Canada (2020)
https://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/200/301/pwgsc-tpsgc/por-ef/public_safety_canada/2020/058-19-e/index.html

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