Government of Canada announces funding for survivor-informed human trafficking prevention initiative for youth

News release

August 30, 2022 - Mississauga, Ontario

Human trafficking is a heinous crime that disproportionately affects women and girls. Indigenous people, migrants and immigrants and 2SLGBTQI+ individuals are often at greater risk. The Government of Canada is committed to ending human trafficking in all its forms and that starts with raising awareness.

Today, while visiting Mississauga, Ontario, the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Marco Mendicino, met with EFRY Hope and Help for Women where the Empowering Against Exploitation project is shifting youth's attitudes, knowledge, and skills around exploitation and sex trafficking. This project is supported with an investment of $273,000 over four years, made available under Public Safety Canada’s Contribution Program to Combat Serious and Organized Crime.

The Empowering Against Exploitation project is a survivor-informed prevention initiative that is offered directly in schools, group homes, shelters, community centres and justice sites. It focuses on preventing exploitation and sex trafficking, by raising awareness among youth about grooming and recruitment tactics. It also addresses sexual and emotional health, online safety, and risk factors, like substance abuse. The project promotes self-esteem and connects youth with resources on how and where to access a range of social supports.

Combatting human trafficking requires urgent action in close partnership with industry and civil society. As we work toward building a safer and more resilient Canada, the Government of Canada stands committed to supporting these efforts, through the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking. With over $60 million in federal funding, work continues to advance our comprehensive plan to tackle this gendered crime through prevention, which includes innovative and community-led awareness efforts and survivor empowerment.  


“Tragically, human trafficking is a crime that continues to be underreported and combatting it requires urgent action. This federal funding is being used to deliver educational programming for at-risk youth to prevent this inhuman crime from happening in the first place. We stand with survivors and must continue working together to put an end to this complex problem and build a Canada free from exploitation and violence.”

- The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety

“We would like to thank Public Safety Canada for recognizing the importance and need for this type of programming and funding and supporting this vital step in addressing and ending the exploitation of women and girls in our community as a means of addressing human sex trafficking.”

- Deborah Riddle, Executive Director, EFRY Hope and Help for Women

Quick facts

  • In September 2019, the Government of Canada launched a comprehensive National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking that brings together federal efforts. It is supported by an investment of $57.22 million over five years and $10.28 million ongoing. 

  • This builds on a previous investment of $14.51 million over five years, and $2.89 million per year to establish the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline, which launched in May 2019.

  • The Hotline is a confidential service and a toll free number to anonymously connect the public with social services, community services, and law enforcement in their community. It can be reached at 1-833-900-1010.

  • The Government of Canada provided $22.4 million over four years in federal funding for 63 organizations in 2020-21, for projects focused on providing support services for victims and survivors.

  • Of this, in 2020-2021, Public Safety Canada provided $5.12 million in funding over four years to 14 human trafficking projects through the Contribution Program to Combat Serious and Organized Crime. Five projects valued at $1.48 million over four years provide awareness tools for youth at-risk.

  • Since 1973, EFRY Hope and Help for Women has been a dedicated leader providing hope and help to women and girls at risk. EFRY Hope and Help for Women empowers women and girls through a trauma-informed, inclusive, and gender responsive lens. The agency has over 40 programs that are founded on gender-specific principles derived from the developmental, psychological, social, educational and cultural characteristics of women and girls.

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Audrey Champoux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Public Safety

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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