NEWS
02/18/2016 11:37 EST | Updated 02/18/2017 00:12 EST

Conservatives urge Ontario to provide more funding to combat human trafficking

TORONTO — Premier Kathleen Wynne says Ontario will have a comprehensive strategy to combat human trafficking by June.

Progressive Conservative Laurie Scott has a private member's bill that would give police the power to enforce protection orders against traffickers on behalf of the victims, and to assess punitive measures if breached.

It would also allow victims to seek compensation in court and add convicted traffickers to the province's sex offender registry.

Wynne agrees the issue has reached a crisis point, and says Ontario is working with Manitoba to see how that province is trying to deal with human trafficking.

Scott says the government should move immediately to give police the financial resources to dedicate officers to human trafficking and provide better training for new officers.

A report issued in December by a legislative committee found Ontario has become a "major hub"' for human trafficking and sexual violence, with most of the victims being local underage girls and young women.

The committee said human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is the most common form of trafficking in Canada.

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The Canadian Press