The NORAHT Mandate:
Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is undoubtedly occurring in northeastern Ontario but we are behind southern Ontario in terms of research, information, coordination, and collaboration. The Northeastern Ontario Research Alliance on Human Trafficking (NORAHT) is a partnership between Nipissing University, the Union of Ontario Indians, Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre of Nipissing, and the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area. The purpose of our research is to identify gaps and barriers in local service provision; to develop best practices for coordinated regional response plans in Northeastern Ontario; and to forge the relationships required to make such coordination effective. We have funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for this three-year project.
The intended outcomes of the project include building community resilience and service capacities in the region, including through the development of service providers toolkits and other resources; establishing a cross-sector knowledge network that is sustained past the life of the project; training 3-6 students in participatory action research; and promoting public awareness and evidence-based policy analysis of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in the region. These outcomes will result in part from our heavy emphasis on building relationships, particularly in the context of Indigenous communities, and also through the general relational approach embodied in PAR. By taking a multi-faceted and proactive approach in this project, and by using multiple modes of dissemination, we aim to reach a broad range of knowledge users from service providers to policy makers, to the general public and persons affected by sex trafficking.