Free Legal Support for Human Trafficking Survivors

Beginning May 1, 2018, Ontario will provide free legal support to survivors of human trafficking and those at-risk of being trafficked to get restraining orders against their traffickers.

On this page

  1. How the program works
    1. eligibility
  2. How to access the program
  3. Contact us
    1. resources
  4. What is Human Trafficking

How the program works

The ministry has created a team of specialized lawyers to help survivors and potential victims get a restraining order by providing legal support, including:

  • free, confidential legal advice
  • help completing a restraining order application
  • representation at application hearings in any Ontario Court of Justice.

Parents and guardians of a child survivor or a child at risk of being trafficked will also be eligible for free legal support.

Restraining orders can be in place for up to three years and renewed if necessary. These orders are enforced by the police.

Eligibility

Survivors of all ages can access this service and the trafficking does not need to have happened in Ontario to be eligible. This program is available to all eligible women, men, trans and gender-diverse people in Ontario.

This restraining order only applies to a trafficker who resides in Ontario.

Survivors or those at-risk of being trafficked do not need to have a criminal case in progress, in order to obtain a restraining order against their trafficker.

How to access the program

Survivors and parents/guardians of those who are at-risk of being trafficked can speak with a trained advisor, using Ontario’s dedicated confidential Human Trafficking Helpline.

Those who are interested in free legal advice to get a human trafficking restraining order will be referred to a lawyer Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • Human Trafficking Helpline: 1-833-999-9211
  • TTY – 1-888-340-1001

Contact Us

If you have any questions, you can call 1-833-999-9211.

For information about programs and services for victims of crime and their families, in or near your community, use the Victim Services Directory of call the Victim Support Line toll-free at 1-888-579-2888.

Resources

Court forms are available at the Ontario Court of Justice.

What is Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a crime. It involves recruiting, transporting, transferring, receiving, holding, concealing or harbouring a person, or exercising control, direction or influence over the movements of a person, for purpose of exploiting them or facilitating their exploitation.

There are different types of human trafficking that take place in Ontario, including sex trafficking and labour trafficking.

Traffickers control people in many ways, including psychological manipulation, emotional abuse, lies, addiction, threats, violence, isolation, and taking control of personal identification documents and money.

Because this treatment can cause severe trauma, survivors often need intensive, specialized services and supports to rebuild their lives.

Information on the government’s plan to tackle human trafficking in Ontario

See also: