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PortsToronto Allies with #NotInMyCity and Toronto Police Service to Deliver Human Trafficking Awareness Learning to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Staff and Partners Jan 26, 2023, 15:00 ET

February 2, 2023

Working together to help disrupt human trafficking in our region.

TORONTO, Jan. 26, 2023 /CNW/ – Today, PortsToronto launched a new education program at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to help disrupt human trafficking in Canadian airports in collaboration with #NotInMyCity and the Toronto Police Service (TPS) Human Trafficking Unit.

Founded by country superstar Paul Brandt, #NotInMyCity is a facilitative organization that is raising awareness and taking collective action to prevent, disrupt and end sexual exploitation and trafficking, focusing on children and youth. In the transport sector, #NotInMyCity is a leading partner who is helping address human trafficking across several sectors in Canada, including the aviation industry.

The purpose of the learning program is to provide all airport employees and partners with knowledge and awareness about sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Canada, including the behavioural signs that might indicate an exploited person, and how to get help without putting the concerned individual in harm’s way. The course has been designed with aviation expertise and has drawn on international aviation best practices. Members of the public are invited to learn more about the issue by taking a free e-learning course found at notinmycity.ca.

While more than 40 employees attended the in-person TPS training session at the Billy Bishop Airport fire hall on January 26, including Enforcement Officers, first responders, and airline and terminal staff, the online learning program will be made available to all airport partners and to hundreds of staff working in all areas of the airport.

“PortsToronto has long demonstrated its commitment to Toronto and its waterfront communities by supporting charitable organizations and causes that are important to us and the partners, passengers and community members that we interact with on a daily basis,” said RJ Steenstra, President and CEO of PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Airport.  “As the owner and operator of a key transportation hub in downtown Toronto, we recognize that we have both an opportunity and a responsibility to equip our staff with the awareness and resources that could help make a difference and disrupt human trafficking activity at Canadian airports.”

“When it comes to addressing and suppressing human trafficking, awareness and education are a priority,” says Paul Brandt, Founder and CEO of #NotInMyCity. “We’re thankful that PortsToronto is allying with #NotInMyCity and the Toronto Police Service to raise employee and public awareness about the realities of human trafficking in Canada. We’re pleased to be working alongside Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Staff and Partners. #NotInMyCity welcomes YTZ to our robust network of airport partner allies across Canada.”

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada and is the second largest source of illegal income worldwide. In Canada, 21 per cent of trafficking victims are under the age of 18. While making up only 4 per cent of the country’s population, 50 percent of Canada’s trafficking victims are Indigenous people.

According to the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking[1], transportation corridors are frequently used by traffickers, and once a victim has been recruited, traffickers will often move them from city to city to maximize profits, access new markets and avoid competition. It also helps keep control of the victim who may not know where they are or how to get help, making it easier for traffickers to evade detection by police. Victims of labour trafficking may also enter Canada by way of air travel, under the false promise of a job or educational opportunity.

In Canada, anyone can call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010 if they believe they witness or are experiencing human trafficking or sexual exploitation. If anyone is in immediate danger, it is recommended to call 9-1-1.

To learn more visit notinmycity.ca.

About Billy Bishop Airport Toronto City Airport

Offering service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 80 international destinations via our airlines’ networks, Billy Bishop Airport is an important international gateway and a key driver to Toronto’s economy which traditionally welcomes approximately 2.8 million passengers per year. Billy Bishop Airport is renowned for its unique travel experience, efficiency and customer service and has won a series of passenger-driven awards. With a focus on cleaner, greener and quieter operations, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has made significant upgrades in recent year to achieve its sustainability goals which are reported on an annual basis. Billy Bishop Airport is owned and operated by PortsToronto.

About PortsToronto

For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’s largest freshwater marinas; and the marine Port of Toronto that includes businesses in a variety of sectors including marine shipping, cargo services, media production and passenger cruises. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $14 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto’s waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a board with representation from all three levels of government.

About #NotInMyCity 

#NotInMyCity is a facilitative organization launched by Paul and Liz Brandt that is raising awareness and taking collective action to prevent, disrupt and end sexual exploitation and human trafficking, focusing on children and youth. The #NotInMyCity movement is growing. We are working in alliance with key stakeholders, creating awareness, educating others and mobilizing a strategic, integrated plan to bring about transformational and sustainable change at all levels.

#NotInMyCity offers an interactive e-learning course for anyone interested in learning more about the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation in Canada. It was developed in collaboration with national and international thought leaders. Upon completion of the free 30-minute e-course, participants are awarded with a certificate. Thousands of individuals have completed the course so far.

1 Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking

SOURCE PortsToronto

For further information: Media Contacts: Jessica Pellerin, Manager, Media Relations and Public Affairs, PortsToronto, Cell: (647) 298-0585, E-mail: jpellerin@portstoronto.com; Laurie Griffin, Communications, #NotInMyCity, Cell: (403) 619-7686, E-mail: laurie@notinmycity.ca