Ontario asks school boards to develop anti-trafficking strategies by Jan. 2022

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TORONTO — Ontario says school boards across the province will need to develop a strategy to combat human trafficking by the beginning of next year.

The province says it will spend $2.4 million to support necessary training and resources for the move, which will help schools identify, respond to and prevent trafficking of children.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce says the average age of recruitment into sex trafficking is 13 years old and schools will increasingly play an important role in fighting the problem.

The province released a new policy framework today that it says will help boards build and implement their anti-trafficking strategies.

It says boards will need to raise awareness of sex trafficking, train staff to identify patterns of trafficking, and establish supports for students who are at risk of being trafficked.

The province notes that in 2019, Ontario had the highest number of police-reported incidents of human trafficking in the country.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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