Police Launch Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign
The Ontario Provincial Police Central Region, in partnership with Muskoka Victim Services, launched an Anti-Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign in Muskoka yesterday, marking National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
The goal of the campaign is to shine a light on human trafficking and how prevalent it is in our communities.
Police say it is common for victims to believe that their traffickers are helping or caring for them, and therefore, they may show their loyalty to their traffickers. This does not mean that they are not victims.
Human trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation or harbouring of persons for the purposes of exploitation, typically in the sex industry or for forced labour.
Traffickers use major highways to transport their victims throughout Ontario. Billboards along Highway 11 in Muskoka will be utilized during the campaign to help spread awareness of human trafficking to passing motorists, including human trafficking victims being transported by their traffickers.
Police say the signs of human trafficking are not always obvious. Although the presence of one sign doesn't necessarily identify human trafficking, a variety of indicators may point to the fact that an individual is being trafficked and needs help. These indicators may include:
- Refusing to disclose information or provides false information.
- Unable to indicate where they are living, or give their address.
- Unable to identify their last location or their upcoming destination.
- Traveling with a lack of or limited luggage.
- Wearing clothing that is inappropriate for the weather or situation.
- Allowing someone else to take control of the conversation for themselves and others.
- Not having possession of their own identification or money.
- The individual seems afraid, anxious or depressed.
- Another person controls the individual's conversation.
- Showing signs of abuse, malnourishment or sleep deprivation.
For more information, visit opp.ca/humantrafficking.