The Thunder Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking are hosting a public awareness event in the promotional court at Intercity Shopping Centre tomorrow from noon to 4pm to provide information about human trafficking and affiliated community resources. The goal is to engage the public about human trafficking and the importance of specific and specialized services. 

Many times people confuse human trafficking with human smuggling (across borders). However, girls as young as 13 and women who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents are the most represented individuals trafficked in Ontario. Human trafficking is a vastly under-reported crime, and Ontario is a major centre for human trafficking in Canada, with about two-thirds of the reported cases happening here. 

“Thunder Bay is one of the top six hubs in Ontario for Human Trafficking,” said Cindy Paypompee, Co-Chair – Thunder Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking. “That is why the Coalition hosted this awareness event – to continue to draw attention to this issue locally.” 

Canada has a dedicated, confidential, 24/7 human trafficking hotline: 1-833-900-1010. The hotline is a resource for everyone, from victims seeking help, to individuals with a tip to report, to members of the public wanting to learn more about the subject - and it provides information on services available across Ontario. 

“Human trafficking is a crime and considered an abuse of human rights that unfortunately our community is not immune to,” said Kris Carlson, Co-Chair – Thunder Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking. “There are different forms of trafficking that people need to be aware of, including sex trafficking and labour trafficking where traffickers restrict victims from accessing basic human rights and freedoms.” 

Traffickers will often prey on homeless and marginalized youth and control them through psychological manipulation, emotional abuse, lies, addiction, threats, violence, isolation and taking control of ID/documents and money. Youth who struggle with low self-esteem, bullying, discrimination, poverty, abuse, isolation and other social or family issues are especially at risk, as are Indigenous women and girls. People struggling with substance use challenges, mental health issues and developmental disabilities are also targeted by traffickers. Due to the complexity of traumatic impacts of human trafficking, individuals often need intensive, specialized services and supports to rebuild their lives. 


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Contact: Kristal Carlson, Co-chair – Coalition to End Human Trafficking, (807) 683-4813,