Free legal support for survivors of human trafficking
Survivors and victims of human trafficking can get free legal support and help applying for a restraining order.
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Human trafficking is a crime that involves controlling a person by recruiting, transporting, harbouring, holding or controlling their movements to exploit them, or help someone else exploit them, for any type of labour, including sexual services. Traffickers may use some of the following forms of coercion to cause victims to provide their labour or services:
- physical or psychological control
- supplying victims with drugs or alcohol
- the abuse of trust and power
If you are a survivor of human trafficking or at risk of being trafficked, you can get free legal support through the Ministry of the Attorney General.
Get free legal support
The ministry has created a team of specialized lawyers to provide legal support for survivors of human trafficking and potential victims, including:
- free, confidential legal advice
- help completing a restraining order application
- representation at application hearings in any Ontario Court of Justice
You can access these services by speaking to a trained advisor through the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline. They will refer you to a lawyer. Assistance is available in over 200 languages.
These free services are available to:
- survivors and potential victims of human trafficking of all ages in Ontario, this includes if you are from Ontario, but the trafficking occurred outside of the province
- the guardian of a child survivor or child at risk of being trafficked
A criminal case is not needed to apply for a restraining order against a trafficker.
A restraining order is a court order to help protect your health and safety from a trafficker. It can limit:
- what someone can do
- where someone can go
- who they can contact
A restraining order includes a list of conditions that can either be:
- general, for example the person must stay away from you or cannot communicate with you
- specific, for example the person cannot go within 500 metres of your home or workplace
Restraining orders can be in place for up to three years or longer and renewed if necessary. The police enforce these orders.
The restraining order will only apply to a trafficker when they are in Ontario.