Ontario is having its first Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Human Trafficking is the recruitment, transportation or harbouring of people for the purposes of exploitation in forced labour or the sex industry. People are often lured in from something as simple as being promised love or a “better life.”
OPP say the indicators are not always obvious and may include:
– The individual seems afraid, anxious or depressed.
– Another person controls the individual’s conversation.
– Another person speaks on behalf of the individual.
– Another person holds or controls the individual’s identification, which may be real or fake.
– Signs of poor health, hygiene and nutrition.
– The individual is wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather or situation.
– There is an age gap between the individual and their companion.
– There are tattoos or branding on the individual to show ownership.
– The individual has scars or injuries from abuse.
– The individual has no control over their money.
– The individual has expensive items but no basic necessities.
– The individual has older friends who provide gifts, drugs, expensive clothing and jewelry.
– The individual has lost connection with their family and friends.
– The individual misses class regularly or drops out of school.
– The individual is reluctant to engage with teachers, youth workers, social workers or other adults in their life.
OPP are completing a poster campaign to help raise public awareness about human trafficking. The posters will be posted across the province in hotels, restaurants, transportation centres, arenas, gas stations, schools and more.
If anyone ever suspects human trafficking please contact the area’s local OPP detachment. If you wish to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.