Anti-Sex Trafficking

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing and most lucrative crimes worldwide. It is predatory and devastatingly damaging to victims, survivors, their families and communities. Human trafficking can include recruiting, harbouring or controlling a person's movements using force, physical or psychological coercion or deception.

Traffickers use tactics to identify and groom vulnerable children and youth by fulfilling their unmet needs – such as love, affection, a sense of belonging and other basic needs like housing or food security – and/or by using threats, physical violence and control. An unstable home life and past trauma, as well as other factors such as a history of childhood abuse or involvement with the child welfare system, can leave students more susceptible to being trafficked.

Due to almost daily contact with students, teachers and other education staff are well placed to educate on prevention and promote healthy relationships, notice troubling changes in behaviour, and connect with students as caring adults. By training staff to recognize the signs of sex trafficking, they will be better equipped to identify the cues and safely intervene if they suspect a student is being trafficked or involved in trafficking. Education can also serve as a key factor in helping survivors of trafficking heal and rebuild their lives, helping to prevent re-victimization and resetting students on a healing trajectory towards positive outcomes. (Policy/Program Memorandum 166 | Education in Ontario: policy and program direction.)

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