Protecting Victims of Human Trafficking

Project Name

Human Trafficking: Increasing our Community’s Capacity to Respond Through Legal Education

Project Partners

Lead Agencies: Coalition Assisting Trafficked Individuals (CATI); Sexual Assault Centre London; Atlohsa Native Family Healing Services Inc.
Legal Partners: Michael Loebach; Mia Loebach

Are you interested in the training materials used in this project? Click here.

 

Project Summary

This project will train community and social service front line community workers in the London and Windsor areas on the social and legal issues facing people who are being trafficked. It will also train peer mentors such as taxi drivers, staff at hair and nail salons, and hotel and restaurant workers on these issues.

Legal Topics for Training

The areas of law to be included in the training are:

  • Information and basic navigation skills for income maintenance programs such as Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program, including how to apply
  • Housing Services Act information including the application process for obtaining social housing
  • Information about rights and entitlements under the Indian Act and civil law
  • Available options for immigration including Temporary Residence Permits for victims of human trafficking
  • Employment standards as they relate to particular types of employment
  • Obtaining legal aid if the person is a victim of domestic violence and/ or forced marriage

Target Audience

The target communities for the project are people who have been trafficked – both internationally and domestically.

Key Activities

Training will be delivered through a variety of approaches, including face-to-face training, e-learning, and the distribution of a toolkit. The trainings and resource materials promote a collaborative system that can provide the most effective response. The training sessions will not only raise awareness, offer legal understanding and deepen knowledge of trafficking, but also provide ongoing opportunities for feedback as to what is required to create a safe and effective coordinated system responsive to the unique needs of trafficked persons.

Need for Training

Given the hesitancy to recognize and openly deal with human trafficking across our society, many service providers feel ill-equipped both to recognize human trafficking and to intervene in any way. This confusion is particularly obvious when service providers are asked about legal support systems and remedies. For example, some service providers who deal with violence against women do come into contact with internationally trafficked women – but are reluctant to intervene because they lack knowledge of the legal issues.

Innovative Approach

This project is innovative in that we will be training individuals who are not traditionally offered information and resources on this subject. Through our previous work with trafficked individuals we believe that, in fact, it is most important to train non-traditional service providers, such as taxi drivers and hotel and restaurant workers, because they are the people who have the closest access to trafficked individuals.