#humantraffickinginOntario, #restrainingorder, #OntarioCourtofJustice, #Anti-HumanTraffickingAct
Ottawa, May 5 (Canadian-Media): Ontario had launched May 4, a new pilot program, a first of its kind in Canada to assist survivors of human trafficking escape exploitation and violence by providing free legal supports, media reports said.
Up to $72 million has been invested by Ontario for this cause to increase awareness, increase initiatives for justice and improve survivors' access to services.
“Human trafficking has a devastating impact on survivors and their families. We are committed to ensuring people in Ontario have the support and legal options they need to protect themselves as they rebuild their lives. Free legal representation is an important step in this journey for survivors to have peace of mind,” said Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General and Ontario Government Attorney Leader.
Survivors of human trafficking and those at risk of getting restraining order -- an important legal tool in protecting survivors and individuals at risk of being trafficked from the threat of exploitation and violence -- would reportedly be provided, effective May 1, free legal support and confidential legal advice by a team of specialized lawyers to help them complete restraining order application and represent their hearings in any Ontario Court of Justice.
In addition, a new type of human trafficking-specific restraining order, created under the Anti-Human Trafficking Act is now in effect to help protect survivors and the safety of those around them which does not require notifying the trafficker in advance.
The program is available province wide, by phone or in person.
“It is critical that survivors of human trafficking have access to the services and support that they need. This program ensures that individuals in every community can access free and confidential legal advice, no matter where they are in the province,” Harinder Malhi, Ontario Minister of the Status of Women said.
"We have heard from our partners on the front-lines that traffickers often pursue survivors when they try to leave and seek safety. This new program will make an important difference in the lives of those being targeted and their families, by providing meaningful legal recourse to use against those who seek to exploit them, ” Michael Coteau, Ontario Minister of Community and Social Services
Reporting by Asha Bajaj