Victim Services of Durham Region will be hosting a virtual seminar on April 28 to help inform parents about human trafficking in the area.
Ontario, which makes up 39 per cent of the total Canadian population, accounts for approximately two-thirds of police-reported human trafficking cases nationally.
“Trafficking is the control and use of threats or violence to exploit another for financial gain. It can include psychological manipulation, emotional abuse, lies, threats, violence and isolation, holding and controlling someone’s money and/or ID and forcing, coercing, pressuring someone to have sex for money,” reads a media release.
“Durham Region has been identified as a hotspot for trafficking, due to the proximity of municipalities and hotels situated along the 401 highway,” the media release notes.
In 2021, there were 336 human trafficking cases investigated in Durham Region. Through these investigations, the Human Trafficking Unit identified and assisted 312 victims, of which 111 were under 18 years of age. More than 200 charges were and 176 accused/persons of interest were identified during investigations.
“Compared to 2020, this represents a 142 per cent increase in investigations and a 138 per cent increase in victims,” the media release notes.
The online workshop will empower caregivers through education on human trafficking, helping parents understand how to recognize risk factors and early red flags, to prevent youth from being trafficked. In this 90-minute seminar attendees will:
– Learn how your youth can be recruited and lured;
– Learn how Covid-19 has increased youth vulnerability;
– Understand what makes your youth vulnerable;
– Learn how to identify if your youth is being trafficked;
– Understand online safety and how to implement it;
– Learn how to speak to your youth about this topic;
– Hear from a survivor; and,
– Hear from the parent of a survivor.
To register for the seminar visit: https://ppn-april2022.eventbrite.ca/
If you are a victim of human trafficking or suspect human trafficking, please contact Durham Regional Police at 1-888-579-1520, ext 5600 or Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
For more information on the seminar please email Victimservices@drps.ca or call 1 (888) 579-1520, ext. 3400.