If you think a child is being harmed or neglected,
contact CFS at 1-866-345-9241.
Note: If this is an emergency, contact your local police emergency number.


Responding to Sexual Exploitation: Tracia's Trust


Frequently Asked Questions

What is sexual exploitation?

For the purposes of the Manitoba Strategy, child sexual exploitation is: the act of coercing, luring or engaging a child, under the age of 18, into a sexual act, and involvement in the sex trade or pornography, with or without the child’s consent, in exchange for money or drugs, or in exchange for food, protection, or other necessities.

What do I do if it is happening to someone I know?

If you know of a child who is being sexually exploited and is in need of protection call a child and family services agency.

Who is most at risk for sexual exploitation?

The majority of children, youth and adults victimized by sexual exploitation are female; however, there is a growing awareness of the sexual exploitation of boys and transgender youth. Many are of Indigenous descent.
Most have experienced family conflicts, addictions or childhood abuses such as neglect and physical and/or sexual abuse and many are involved in the child and family services (CFS) system.
The majority have also experienced homelessness for short or extended periods of time. Homelessness is often the result of youth on the run from home, CFS placements or the justice system. During this time of homelessness, youth are most at risk of becoming sexually exploited – at times, exchanging sexual favours for the basic necessities of life, such as food and shelter.

If someone is in immediate danger, call your local emergency police number.

What is the Tracia’s Trust? What is the Manitoba Sexual Exploitation Strategy?

Tracia’s Trust: Manitoba’s Sexual Exploitation Strategy is comprised of multiple initiatives in the areas of prevention, intervention, legislation, coordination, research and evaluation. The Strategy encompasses the coordination of services for all ages, including children, youth and adults, as well as all forms of sexual exploitation, including human trafficking, pornography, sex trafficking, sex tourism and internet luring.

When was Tracia’s Trust Strategy founded?

The Manitoba government launched its sexual exploitation strategy in 2002 and renamed it Tracia’s Trust (in 2008) in memory of Tracia Owen, a 14-year-old who was sexually exploited and died by suicide in 2005.

What are prevention services that Tracia’s Trust provides?

Tracia’s Trust funds 12 regional resource teams to provide education, training and awareness to their areas to prevent and eradicate sexual exploitation.
Manitoba’s Sexual Exploitation unit also provides presentations, beginning in elementary school and all the way up to post-secondary, about healthy relationships and age-appropriate issues of sexual exploitation to empower students and help them avoid being targeted. The unit also works alongside corporate partners and other stakeholders to ensure they are aware of current legislation and what exploitation in Manitoba looks like. 


What are prevention services that Tracia’s Trust provides?

Intervention services help individuals who have been victims of sexual exploitation, are at high risk of being sexually exploited, and/or are engaged in the sex trade.
The Street Reach program is one example of a front line focused intervention service to locate vulnerable missing youth and return them to their placement or place of safety while building safe and trusting relationships.
The goal of intervention is to provide healing supports and help transition the person out of the sex trade.
Every year, Tracia’s Trust funds numerous non-governmental organizations to intervene in the sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of children, youth, and adults in Manitoba.

What are the current developments under the Tracia’s Trust Strategy?

To guide the strategy’s next phase, the province launched an in-depth multi-year research project producing a report in January 2019: Collaboration and Best Practices on Ending Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking in Manitoba. It is based on qualitative and quantitative analysis, relevant case studies from 2011 to 2016 and input from focus groups and consultation with 53 organizations, stakeholders, frontline service providers, community members, Elders, law enforcement and exploited Manitobans.


What are some of major findings and recommendations from the Collaboration and Best Practices on Ending Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking in Manitoba Report?

This report will guide a prevention and proactive intervention strategy to better help young, vulnerable Manitobans by improving our understanding of how often sex trafficking and sexual exploitation is happening in Manitoba, the needs of those who have been exploited and the barriers that keep them from seeking the help that they need.

Some of the recommendations outlined in this report include:
  • a robust strategy to address online exploitation and trafficking;
  • additional supports for adults who aged out of the child welfare system and are at risk of exploitation;
  • a substance abuse treatment model with emphasis on methamphetamine;
  • a reform of specialized placements and resources to better support exploited youth by addressing
  • factors such as addictions and mental health; and
  • ongoing collaboration with urban and rural stakeholders about Tracia’s Trust. 


What are the next steps in the renewing the Tracia’s Trust Strategy?

Manitoba Families leads the Tracia’s Trust strategy and will continue to collaborate with other government departments as well as the many diverse voices connected to the Strategy to renew its focus.
A request for proposals to evaluate the StreetReach program was released in December of 2018 and highlights the province’s commitment to ensure that evidence-based best practices and service delivery models are available to meet the needs of high-risk sexually exploited youth.