Beyond Borders ECPAT Canada is a national, bilingual advocacy organization advancing the rights of children everywhere to be free from sexual abuse and exploitation. It is a registered charity without political or religious affiliation. Beyond Borders ECPAT Canada was founded in 1996 and became a member of the ECPAT Network in 1999. Some of its successful efforts have included toughening Canada´s legislation regarding the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism and increasing Canada’s legal age of consent from 14 to 16. It is a founding partner, along with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, in the creation of Cybertip.ca, Canada’s tip-line for reporting online child sexual exploitation.
A disproportionate number of sexually exploited children in Canada are aboriginal youth. In some cities, they make up as much as 90% of those children exploited for prostitution.
In 2002, Canada established a tip line for reporting online sexual exploitation of children. The tip line receives over 3,000 reports a month. Since its beginning, more than 511 arrests have been executed in connection to a cybertip.ca report and 28 000 URLs have been blocked.
A study showed that between 2009-2014, 25% of victims of trafficking in Canada were under 18.
Age of consent in Canada is listed as 16 years of age. It also says that anyone 14 or older can consent as long as the person they are engaging in sexual activity with is less than 5
years older than them and not in a position of authority over them. Also, anyone over 12 can engage in sexual activity with someone who is less than two years older than them
Canadian Criminal Code, 2023
Canadian law provides for active extraterritoriality over Canadian nationals or permanent residents who commit human trafficking and sexual offences against children outside Canada that if committed in Canada would be an offence (Article 7 (4.1) of the Criminal Code). Canadian law does not require double criminality for active extraterritoriality and whether or not the accused is in Canada is not an impediment. Canadian law does not provide for passive extraterritoriality nor universal jurisdiction for SEC related offences.
There are no specific laws or provisions on extradition for SEC-related offences in the national legislation but according to the Extradition Act, extradition would be applicable for SEC related crimes to any person located in Canada regardless of the nationality of the alleged offender. However, even if most SEC offences would be considered as extraditable offences as they are punished under Canadian with greater penalties than required, the extradition of some SEC offences (such as Article 172 (1) and 173 (2) of the Criminal Code) could be denied if the case is based on a specific agreement for a particular case, as they do not fulfil the principle of severity of the punishment.
Criminal Code Extradition Act, 1985 (status as of 2023), 1999
Child sexual abuse material is criminalised – Actual, but also fictitious,written depictions of child sexual abuse, audio, video, and images, also known as child pornography;
Criminal Code, 2023
A vulnerable sector check is a police information check plus a check to see if a person has a record suspension (pardon) for sexual offences. Vulnerable sector checks were created in 2000 to protect children and vulnerable persons and is governed by section 6.3(3) of the Criminal Records Act. To meet the legal requirements for a vulnerable sector check, the nature of the position – not the person – must cause the person to have authority over, or trust of, children or vulnerable persons. The check is not mandatory, but made at the request of any person or organization responsible for the well-being of a child and to which an application is made for a paid or volunteer position.
Criminal Records Act, 2023
Not Yet Assessed
There are 30 of child advocacy centers in Canada,with the most prominent being the Canadian Center for Child Protection and the Child and Youth Advocacy Centers
Child Advocacy Centres/Child & Youth Advocacy Centres (CACs/CYACs), 2023
Canada has a National Child Exploitation Crime Center, which supports Canadian police agencies in fighting SEC. Canada also has a Virtual Global Taskforce, which works with other countries to combat SEC, as well as a virtual tip line, Cybertip.ca.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police, 2019
Bill C-262 – An Act respecting the responsibility of business enterprises to prevent, consider and remedy adverse human rights impacts arising from their business activities abroad – was introduced and given first reading on 29 March 2022 in the House of Commons. The Act aims at establishing due diligence obligations on companies to identify, assess and reduce actual and potential adverse impacts on human rights resulting from their activities (which includes the rights recognised in the Convention on the Rights of the Child). There is a Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise in charge of reviewing complaints about human rights abuses abroad by Canadian companies but only for the sectors of garment, mining, and oil and gas sectors.
Parliament of Canada, 2021
The Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics publishes police-reported crime statistics in Canada every year. This data is disaggregated into categories for types of crime, crime severity, and place of reporting, this includes data on sexual violations against children, as well as child pornography offences.
Canadian Department of Justice, 2022