A recent study conducted by Family Services of Peel and the Peel Institute on Violence Prevention has found human trafficking rates in the Region of Peel to be alarmingly high.

In fact, Peel Region has a human trafficking rate that is higher than Toronto and even the province of Ontario.

The study also outlined that the percentage increase between 2009 and 2016 = (18-12)/12= 50%.

According to the RCMP, there have been 269 cases in Ontario since 2005 where human trafficking-specific charges were laid.

In 2016, the human trafficking rate in Peel was reported as 1.14 persons per 100,000 persons, which means Peel’s rate is higher than Toronto’s at 0.79 and Ontario’s rate of 1.0 persons per 100,000.

In April 2018, the Ministry of Community and Social Services approved three-year funding for Family Services of Peel to research, develop and respond to victims of human trafficking.

According to the government of Ontario, people who are most at risk of labour trafficking include newcomers to Canada, people with uncertain immigration status, people who are homeless and people who do not speak English or French. Given the current demographics in the Peel Region where new immigrants and refugees are settling, there is ever greater likelihood that the scourge of human trafficking will get worse before it can get better. -CINEWS

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