POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 67 Canada ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (“CRC”) on December 13, 1991 and in so doing, underscored its commitment to children, including its commitment to protect them from all forms of harm, such as child sexual exploitation. Two years later, in 1993, the Criminal Code of Canada was amended to include specific provisions against child pornography. Further reforms to the Criminal Code of Canada in 1997 made it possible to prosecute Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada for engaging in prohibited sexual conduct with children outside of Canada (child sex tourism) and strengthened the prohibitions and penalties for the prostitution of children. In 1996 and again in 2001, Canada joined the international community in supporting the Declaration and Agenda for Action at the First and Second World Congress Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children which calls on all countries to take appropriate measures to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children. In 2002, the Criminal Code of Canada was further strengthened to better protect children from sexual exploitation. In particular, the child pornography provisions were amended to ensure their application to these offences committed through the use of the Internet: new offences were created to criminalize accessing, transmitting and making available child pornography and to prohibit the use of a computer system to communicate with a child for the purpose of facilitating the commission of sexual offences (Internet luring). These amendments also gave the courts the power to shut down child pornography sites. In 2004, A Canada Fit for Children, Canada’s National Plan of Action for children was released. A Canada Fit for Children was developed with consultation from all levels of government, different sectors of society and children. It summarizes Canada’s commitment to children and identifies meaningful ways that Canadians can improve the lives of children in Canada and around the globe. It provides strategies to address the sexual exploitation of children including child pornography, child prostitution and child sex tourism. In 2005, reforms to the Criminal Code of Canada further strengthened the prohibitions against the sexual exploitation of children including the child pornography provisions (broadened the definition, created a new offence against audio child pornography, narrowed the defence and increased the penalties) as well as increased the penalties for other child sexual exploitation offences. Additional reforms which also came into effect in 2005 created new offences to prohibit the trafficking of persons, including the trafficking of children for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In September 2005, Canada ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. Finally in January 2006, additional criminal law reforms came into effect to facilitate the receipt of testimony by child victims and witnesses as well as other vulnerable victims and witnesses in criminal proceedings. Responsibility for the criminal law and justice system is divided between the federal and provincial/territorial governments: the federal government is responsible for the criminal law which applies across the country and the provinces/territories are responsible for the administration of the justice system in their jurisdiction. Canada’s Criminal Code of Canada provides a comprehensive set of prohibitions to protect children from sexual exploitation including prohibitions against: • All sexual activity with young persons; • Using the internet to communicate with a child for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a sexual offence; • Possessing, making, distributing, transmitting, making available and accessing child pornography including through the use of the internet; • child sex tourism; and • Prostitution of anyone under the age of 18 years. For more information on Canada’s laws in this area, please visit: C-46/266995.html Canadian Background Industry Canada industrie Canada