Human trafficking is real and and it is here in our community

·1 min read

Residents of Chatham-Kent are being asked to look for signs of human trafficking.

The Ontario government is providing $81,173 through the Civil Remedies Grant Program to help Chatham-Kent Police Service combat human trafficking.

According to Chatham-Kent police Chief Gary Conn, human trafficking is a hidden but real crime with serious, long-term effects on its 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,” said Conn. “The reality is that human trafficking is real, and it is here in our community.”

The money will support Project Capture by helping Chatham-Kent police purchase a vehicle and equipment for on-scene investigations to provide a safe space for human-trafficking victims to engage with the police and community workers while being safely separated from the trafficker.

“The Chatham-Kent Police Service recognizes the prevalence, as well as the seriousness of human trafficking and internet child exploitation offences,” said Conn in a statement.

“The consequences on the victims can be devastating, and our service wants to be as proactive as possible in the detection, prevention, assistance and prosecution of such cases, the ultimate goal being the safety of the victims from these heinous offences.”

Conn added he we would like to encourage those who believe they may be a victim of human trafficking “to please find the strength to come forward,” he said. “Help and support services are available.”

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010 or visit canadianhumantraffickinghotline.ca.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News