Ontario Government Fights Child Prostitution
Children in Ontario, some as young as 12, are being coerced and forced
into prostitution by adults who exploit them for commercial gain. If these
children try to leave, they can suffer physical and emotional abuse and
threats. These children are victims of pimps, johns and other sexual
predators who are engaging in a form of child sexual abuse. The Ontario
government is committed to rescuing these children caught in exploitation.
Attorney General David Young introduced legislation on June 21st, to
help fight sexual exploitation of children. As Parliamentary Assistant to
the Attorney General, I will lead the debate of this important legislation
through the legislature.
Rescuing Children From Sexual Exploitation Act would allow police and
children's aid society workers to assist those being exploited. This
proposed legislation would allow police and CAS workers to enter a range
of locations where commercial sexual victimization of children occurs, and
remove a child under the age of 18 with or without a warrant. Locations
include massage parlours and adult entertainment facilities.
The province would also be able to sue pimps and others who sexually
exploit children for profit to recover taxpayers' costs of treatment and
services required by child victims. Driver's licenses of pimps and johns
who are convicted of prostitution-related Criminal Code offences would be
suspended for a period of time.
Children will also be protected from being victimized in a wide range
of circumstances, including bawdy houses, escort services, telephone or
internet sex lines and in the pornography industry. This broad application
recognizes the fact that many child victims of sexual exploitation are
kept "underground" to avoid detection by the justice system.
In order to prevent revictimization and to ensure the privacy of the
child and family members, the identity of those involved would not be
published or broadcast. Provisions in the bill would ensure that all
hearings are closed to the public and media, and that records of
proceedings must be sealed.
Our government will spend up to $15 million annually on programs and
services for rescued children. This funding will enable children to start
a new life, with the proper necessities and care. After being removed from
danger, the child will be placed into a safe location for up to 30 days.
Here they will receive needed services such as drug and alcohol
counseling, mental health and medical services and specialized legal
The illegal actions of these predators have an extremely high price
tag. There are emotional and physical costs to sexually exploit children,
as well as the financial cost of treatment and services required by these
victims of abuse.
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