Federal justice department extends funding for sex trafficking victims

Financial aid of $340,447 will pay for individualized services for sexual exploitation victims

Federal justice department extends funding for sex trafficking victims

Canada has provided, via its Victims Fund, financial aid to offer safe and secure accommodation and psychosocial supports to victims aged 16 to 30 of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Lévis/Rive-Sud and Quebec region.

Alliance-Jeunesse Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, in partnership with Maison Marie-Frédéric and other community service providers, will receive funding of $340,447 from the federal justice department, which will enable it to offer a range of individualized services and activities responsive to the specific needs of these victims.

“The funding being provided by our government to Alliance-Jeunesse Chutes-de-la-Chaudière and Maison Marie-Frédéric for their important initiative will help victims escape trafficking and sexual exploitation,” said David Lametti, federal justice minister and Canada’s attorney general, who announced the funding alongside Jean-Yves Duclos, treasury board president.

The funding aims to support and to decrease the risks for individuals who are particularly vulnerable to sex trafficking and sexual exploitation, including young women.

Anne-Marie Roy, director general of Alliance-Jeunesse Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, said that individuals willingly or unwillingly working in the sex industry can benefit from these supports more than ever in the context of the current business closures, which were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With strip clubs and massage parlours having temporarily closed their doors, many of the women who had worked in these places have begun to offer escort services; this activity presents even greater risk to their physical and sexual health, but above all for their safety,” said Roy in the news release.

“We are happy that the Government of Canada is providing financial support for community organizations in the Quebec region that offer help to younger adults (18 to 30 years old) who want to escape the prostitution scene,” said Sylvain Gervais, director general of Maison Marie-Frédéric.

The financial assistance is a part of the federal government’s commitment to ensure that the criminal justice system is fair, impartial and responsive to the needs of victims; to promote access to justice to vulnerable Canadians; and to safeguard the rights of Canadians.

The Victims Fund offers grants to help projects and activities led by community organizations, law enforcement agencies and provincial and territorial governments that seek to promote the creation of new approaches, to advance access to justice, to increase the capacity of service providers, to encourage the development of referral networks and to boost the awareness of victims of crimes and their families regarding available services.

The Victims Fund, which does not give victims of crime compensation for criminal injuries, also aims to improve how laws, principles and guidelines are implemented, so that they can better address the needs of victims of crime, and to advance the development of policies and programs for such victims.

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