For the three-day Toronto Police Service (TPS) International Human Trafficking conference, dedicated professionals from various fields are in the city.
During the event, which will last for three days, they will look into a wide range of communities and organizations that can help victims and survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking.
Delegates will learn about the trauma and effects of being a victim of human trafficking, as well as current global issues that contribute to victimization in their jurisdictions.
According to Chief Myron Demkiw, the conference provides an opportunity to collaborate with some of the most innovative individuals and organizations working to combat a crime that puts far too many people at risk and to exchange ideas.
He stated at the March 20 opening ceremony, “Human trafficking is not an abstract or distant problem for us here in Toronto and for many communities across the country.” We can all see the horrifying victims all around us. They are our neighbors, friends, children, brothers, and sisters, and they are subjected to the most severe human abuses known to man. They are also pleading for assistance.
“We are here to respond to that call. to expand our networks with other police services and community organizations to improve victim support, to strengthen our investigative skills in human trafficking investigations, and to find ways to improve our capacity to support victims and survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence.
Ontario has more cases of human trafficking than the national average.
Demkiw stated that this is astonishment and grave concern.
He made the observation that, “unfortunately, our major cities and urban hubs have created more opportunities for human trafficking crimes.” Traffickers now have more people, more options for transportation, and more places to stay to hide their activities. A trafficker could mobilize at any time and travel across the entire province in a matter of hours if they begin their mission in Toronto. Criminals are able to gain access to diverse customer bases and avoid detention by law enforcement thanks to this widespread practice.
Demkiw mentioned that Toronto Police is making progress toward halting the tide, despite the crime’s covert nature.
The Service established a Human Trafficking Enforcement Team nine years ago because it recognized the need for a specialized unit that is victim-centered and focuses on assisting individuals in their efforts to break the cycle of exploitation by their traffickers.
It consists of the Children at Risk Exploitation Team, which works in conjunction with the enforcement team of the Service and child protection workers from Toronto Children’s Aid. It focuses on youths between the ages of 12 and 17 who are at risk of being trafficked.
Demkiw remarked, “This is just one example of work.” However, it emphasizes that partnership is at the center of our efforts to combat human trafficking. The Service is pleased to be a part of the province’s Joint Forces Strategy, which is guided by intelligence and has established crucial cross-jurisdictional partnerships. Additionally, this collaboration has been extremely successful in providing specialized support for the ongoing investigations, which has resulted in positive and direct results.
Demkiw reiterated the Service’s support for human trafficking prevention initiatives.
He went on to say, “We are of the opinion that every victim of human trafficking and sexual exploitation deserves to be treated with respect, dignity, fairness, and honesty.” Furthermore, as well as could be expected, we will satisfy our obligation to distinguish, capture and indict those liable for this awful wrongdoing.”
Specialized Criminal Investigations/Sex Crimes Inspector Susan Gomes commended Inspector David Correa for envisioning the Service hosting an international conference.
A year ago, he was in charge of the Human Trafficking Section as a Detective Sergeant.
Gomes remarked, “You planted a seed with your team at the time, and it continued to grow to what you see here today under the leadership of Acting Detective Sergeant Earle Davies.” As the conference progresses over the next three days, you will be pleased with what they have accomplished. We appreciate your dedication and compassion toward this kind of work, as well as your willingness to serve as Master of Ceremonies this week while you were away from your position as second in command at 55 Division.
Additionally speaking at the opening ceremony were Staff Superintendent Pauline Gray and Superintendent Mark Barsky.