Durham Police hosting pop-up human trafficking information session at the Oshawa Centre

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Published February 20, 2024 at 9:16 pm

The Durham Regional Police Human Trafficking Unit is hosting a pop-up information booth at the Oshawa Centre on Thursday and Friday to raise awareness about the rise in human trafficking, with six times as many criminal cases as there were ten years ago.

Two-thirds of all human trafficking cases are in Ontario, with most in major centres like Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton, and one in four involve children and youth, with some victims as young as 12.

Human trafficking, which is often a slow process of manipulation, deception and coercion that thrives in situations where power is unequal, is happening in Durham Region as well.

But there is hope, and Durham Police hopes survivors, concerned loved ones and the community can drop by the booth (near Urban Planet) for information on human trafficking and to check out the resources available.

Nearly three-quarters of female trafficking victims are under 25 and Indigenous women and girls face the highest risk, making up more than half (51 per cent) of human trafficking survivors while comprising just four per cent of the population.

In 2019, the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking launched the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline, a confidential, multilingual service that identified 415 cases of human trafficking involving 593 victims in its first year and 1,500 cases in its first four years.

The Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and in more than 200 languages, including 27 Indigenous languages. It can be accessed toll-free by phone at 1-833-900-1010 or online at Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline.

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