National human trafficking hotline at 1-833-900-1010 (available 24/7)
What is human trafficking?
How do human traffickers lure children and youth?
• Traffickers can use different ways such as becoming friends with youth online and luring/hooking them through promises of love, friendship, money, fame and more.
• Youth can come from rural communities to bigger cities, or can be trafficked within their own cities.
Why are some students at risk?
• Indigenous peoples are especially vulnerable to sex trafficking due to historic and ongoing systemic discrimination, including intergenerational trauma resulting from residential schools.
• Language barriers, isolation, economic disadvantage, or a lack of community and social supports may leave newcomer youth with increased vulnerability to trafficking.
• Students with disabilities may experience bullying and isolation in addition to having difficulty understanding the intentions of others.
• Students who are LGBTQ2S+ experience high rates of bullying, assaults and sexual abuse, and they may face isolation and experience homelessness if they are rejected from their family or the community.
Why the urgency to act?
• Due to our geographic location, transportation links, and socio-demographic factors, human trafficking is a major concern within both Sault Ste. Marie and the District of Algoma.
• Students are spending more time online on different social media platforms that traffickers may use to recruit students.
• The average age of recruitment into sex trafficking in Canada being 13 years old, school-aged children and youth are prime targets for traffickers for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
What are some myths and facts about human trafficking?
• Human trafficking happens in most major cities in Canada. Ontario is a hub.
• Many youth are lured in with false promises of security, love and acceptance.
• Many victims do not have prior addictions, nor are they working in the sex industry prior to exploitation.
• Trafficking affects more females, but boys and men are also trafficked.
• Although males make up the larger part of traffickers, 30 per cent of offenders have been found to be women.
• Only females are trafficked.
• Only men can be traffickers.
• Sex trafficking only happens in less developed countries.
How do I protect my child from risks presented online?
• Families and schools are encouraged to continue to work together to educate students about both the positive and negative potentials of the internet, including the harmful effects of violent sexually explicit images.
• Popular social media platforms (e.g. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, POF, sugar daddy websites) are new ways traffickers target their victims.
What are some of the possible signs that a student is being trafficked?
• withdrawal from social activities
• a noticeable change in behaviour (e.g. Is tense/hyper vigilant, nervous or anxious)
• change in attire/expensive clothing
• change in lingo (e.g. ‘telly time’ or ‘being in the game’)
• carries one or more cells phones with blocked/private phone numbers
• makes references to boyfriend (often older) as “daddy” or self as “mama or baby”
• increased drug/alcohol use
What can I do as a parent or guardian to support my child if you suspect or they have disclosed they have been trafficked?
• Listening to your child without judgement or blame.
• Trying to understand some of the choices your child makes and the pressures they are experiencing, even if you don't understand them.
• Being aware of and softening your body language.
• Using their language e.g. if they say “boyfriend,” use this term.
• Letting them take the lead in sharing, avoid leading the conversation.
• Contact your child’s Principal with your concerns.
• Look for organizations in your community that have outreach programs.
What supports will be provided to students who disclose that they have been trafficked?
What is the ADSB doing to educate and raise awareness in the system?
• A protocol has been created for teachers and administrators when supporting students who have shared that they are or have been trafficked.
• Curriculum-based learning about healthy relationships, consent, mental health and well-being, coping skills, personal safety and online safety, particularly in elementary and secondary Physical and Health Education classes will support students in raising awareness about sex trafficking.
• The ADSB is building relationships with community partners to support families, educators and students in the classroom (e.g. evening presentations, professional learning, class presentations).
Where can I find out information about the new Ministry of Education policy?
What is ADSB's Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocol