Over a seven-day period in October, 45 police services across Ontario participated in Operation Northern Spotlight. Over 300 police officers, support staff, and victim services professionals engaged with 218 potential victims, offering information about available community-based supports. The operation succeeded in securing the safety of seven people in exploitative situations, and 45 trafficking-related charges were laid against 15 people.
Research shows that mental illness and substance use make people more vulnerable to trafficking and can both be a consequence of surviving a trafficking experience. If you are a service provider interested in learning more about these links and what you can do to identify and support victims of human trafficking, check out this new online course.