Key Findings

The purpose of our research was to identify gaps and barriers in local service provision for persons in the sex industry seeking supports; to develop best practices for coordinated regional response plans in Northeastern Ontario; and to forge the relationships required to make such coordination effective. We thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for funding this project.

For Service Providers:

  • Respect for the agency and self-determination of individuals seeking support, regardless of how they identify their experience
  • Clear distinction between sex work and human trafficking
  • Avoidance of “rescue and rehabilitation” programming and colonizing or paternalistic attitudes
  • Harm reduction and safer spaces
  • Trauma and violence informed approaches
  • Indigenous knowledges and approaches, including decolonial trauma-informed
  • Paid inclusion of experiential persons in the design, delivery and evaluation of programs
  • Service provider collaboration for wrap-around, comprehensive supports


At the Policy Level

  • Core, sustainable funding for anti-violence supports for all persons in the sex industry, not just those who fit the human trafficking checklist
  • Initiatives and campaigns that do not conflate sex work and human trafficking and instead focus on anti-violence measures for anyone who asks for support.
  • Increased funding for transitional housing and safer, affordable long-term housing in northeastern Ontario
  • Implementation of the Calls to Justice of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
  • The prevention of human trafficking through long-term strategies for structural change including decolonization, anti-poverty measures, and the decriminalization of sex work.