Toronto Star

Traffickin­g survivors may be given right to sue


Human traffickin­g survivors would be allowed to sue their trafficker­s under new legislatio­n proposed in Ontario, where about two-thirds of all police-reported cases in Canada occur.

Introduced Wednesday, the AntiHuman Traffickin­g Act would establish a process for survivors and those at risk to apply for human traffickin­g-specific restrainin­g orders.

It would also allow survivors to take their trafficker­s to civil court, and proclaim Feb. 22 as Human Traffickin­g Awareness Day.

“Human traffickin­g exploits the most vulnerable people in our communitie­s,” Status of Women Minister Indira Naidoo-Harris said in a statement. “It is a deplorable crime and we must do everything we can to protect and support survivors. This legislatio­n helps survivors live without fear and access the services they need to recover.”

Progressiv­e Conservati­ve Laurie Scott introduced a private member’s bill tackling the same issue last year.

“We now finally see the government embracing the changes that stakeholde­rs, including victims’ services organizati­ons, police officers and victims themselves have long been calling for,” she said.

The Liberal government in June announced a $72-million strategy to end human traffickin­g, which includes the creation of a provincial anti-traffickin­g co-ordination office meant to foster collaborat­ion between police, social services and child welfare. The pledge also included creating a specialize­d provincial prosecutio­n team.

 ??  ?? Indira Naidoo-Harris said human traffickin­g survivors must be able to “live without fear.”
Indira Naidoo-Harris said human traffickin­g survivors must be able to “live without fear.”

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