Over half of Canada’s human trafficking cases investigated in Mississauga, Brampton: police


Published February 22, 2022 at 3:09 pm


Police are warning residents to watch for warning signs of human trafficking in Mississauga and Brampton.

Human Trafficking Awareness Day is Feb. 22, and with more than 60 per cent of Canadian human trafficking cases originating in the GTA, police are asking the public to be aware of what human trafficking looks like in the community.

Mississauga and Brampton’s proximity to major highways has contributed to the Region becoming a centre for human trafficking, with Peel Regional Police saying it conducts over half of the human trafficking investigations in the country.

Police say some 70 per cent of human trafficking victims identified by police are under the age of 25, with an average age between 12 to 24 years old.

Along with partners like A Community for Life, police in Peel have been combining law enforcement with compassion and care for victims and survivors of sexual exploitation.

Here are some warning signs that Police say could mean someone is be a victim of grooming or human trafficking:

  • Isolation from family and friends.
  • More than one cell phone.
  • The person is always being monitored or controlled by someone else.
  • Stockholm syndrome (protective of the new boyfriend or girlfriend).
  • The person is always being moved, usually from hotel to hotel.
  • Carrying of condoms or sexual aids.
  • Drug use.
  • The person does not carry any form of identification with them.
  • Visible signs of scarring/tattoos (known as branding).

Preventative tips

  • Stay informed about your child’s social and school life.
  • Talk to your child about inappropriate requests from people they do not know.
  • Make the effort to know the people/friends involved with your child (not just their nicknames).
  • Monitor their social media accounts and set rules for their online activity.
  • Stay current with apps and social sites your child is using.
  • Educate your child on healthy social and romantic relationships and how to identify abusive ones.

In 2018, PRP began acting on Brampton City Council’s endorsement of the Strategy to Address Human Sex Trafficking in Peel, which included supporting victims by providing house and a safe place to stay frp, anywhere from three days to four months.

Police also launched the nCourage anti-human trafficking service hub with support available by calling the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

Last August, the Women’s Trucking Federation of Canada (WTFC) helped launch an online training resource to educate truck drivers about the signs of human trafficking and how they can report the illegal activity.

Here are some community resources who can help if you or someone you know may be a victim of human trafficking:


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