Human trafficking is a global issue and a very serious crime that involves the exploitation and coercion of individuals for various purposes, such as forced labor or sexual exploitation. Sadly, we know that human trafficking is on the rise and that university-aged students can be particularly vulnerable to human trafficking due to factors like their age, economic circumstances, and the pursuit of educational opportunities in foreign countries. The University of Toronto campuses are close to a significant transportation route used by traffickers for the movement of victims, Highway 401. The highway provides traffickers with access to potential victims and facilitates the transportation of victims between cities and across international borders.
To raise awareness about human trafficking and to educate students about potential dangers, including recruitment tactics used by traffickers, and provide support systems to prevent and address human trafficking cases, law enforcement at multiple levels are collaborating with local support services, government organizations and post-secondary institutions to provide comprehensive prevention, victim identification, and support services, and to increase public vigilance.