Diversity, Social Inclusion & Safety

Photo of two female youth, one in wheelchair.

Ontario has a vibrant mix of young people with diverse strengths, needs, abilities, perspectives and experiences. To realize the potential of this diversity, the government works to ensure that Ontario is a safe, inclusive and accepting place where all our young people can thrive. When young Ontarians are safe and supported at home, school, work, online and in their communities, they can move into adulthood more successfully and can better support inclusion and diversity in their communities.

Outcomes #13, 14, 15

Ontario wants youth to:

This year, Ontario encouraged diversity, social inclusion and safety among young people by improving access to services, targeting supports and continuing to deliver on existing commitments. Its programs and policies have made progress in the following areas:

New in 2014–2015

Promoting Diversity and the Social Inclusion of Young People

Photo of three male youth, one with rake, doing yard work.

Ontario is committed to ensuring all young people have an equal opportunity to participate in society, regardless of their circumstances. This year, Ontario supported social inclusion and identified barriers for youth and their communities through various initiatives.

New in 2014–2015

Helping Young People to be Safe, Grow and Develop

Photo of three male youth and one female youth  at a table in classroom having a discussion.

Wherever young people spend their time—at home, in school, on campus, in workplaces and online—they need to be safe. Ontario is committed to identifying and addressing the root causes of social issues that challenge this safety, such as youth crime, youth violent crime, and sexual violence and harassment.

Data from the 2015 Profile

  • 95.7% of youth feel safe at school.
  • 19% of youth have been bullied online.
  • 98% of Ontarians felt "very safe" or "safe" in their communities.

New in 2014–2015

Supporting Youth Who Are At Risk of Conflict with the Law

Ontario is committed to improving outcomes for all youth who are at risk of, or have come into conflict with, the law and the youth justice system. This year, Ontario focused on programs that help youth get back on track, where necessary, and improve outcomes for youth who have come into contact with the law.

Data from the 2015 Profile

  • 7% of youth engage in antisocial behaviour.
  • Ontario's total youth crime rate is 3,201 per 100,000 youth.
  • Ontario's total youth violent crime rate is 1,048 per 100,000 youth.

Case Study

The Black Experience Project

The Black Experience Project (BEP) is a ground-breaking research study that explores the lived experiences of individuals in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Black community. The BEP’s data-collection survey covers many aspects of life such as identity, education, spirituality and experiences with the justice system. The study also looks at the different experiences of Black Canadians, immigrants and newcomers. To date, interviews have been held with people from more than 50 countries across Africa and the Americas, capturing the cultural diversity of the Black community. Youth involvement has greatly enriched the research process.

The BEP researches the challenges and contributions of members of the youth and adult Black community. It also provides youth with meaningful opportunities to develop their skills and learn about their community. Currently, 70% of the staff employed with the BEP are under 30.

Through the project, youth are trained and mentored on research and data collection, community engagement and social change. Youth also play a key role in working with media outlets to offer reflections on youth experiences in the GTA and the broader study findings. The project has also provided an avenue for Youth Community Interviewers to experience a greater connection to their community than they would otherwise have had.

"Even though I am Black, I have not been a person that is deeply involved with my community. I feel like I have been ignorant to a lot of things. Being able to hear people’s stories and what they go through opens my eyes." —Tynelle Chase, BEP Community Interviewer

The Black Experience Project Community Meet and Greet Event

The Black Experience Project Community Meet and Greet Event