Sunday, October 21, 2007

Age of Sexual Consent Amendment

As I mentioned in my post from October 18, 2007, the Canadian government has tabled an omnibus crime bill which, among other things, reintroduces proposed amendments to the Criminal Code that would raise the legal age for consent to sexual activity from 14 to 16.

For background information:
  • Bill resurrected to raise consent age - Mixed reaction to move that's meant to curtail adults preying on youth (Toronto Star, October 19, 2007): "Child protection advocates heaved a sigh of relief yesterday while public health educators worried after Ottawa introduced a bill raising the age of consent for sexual activity to 16 from 14. The proposal has been controversial since it was first introduced in early 2006 as part of a move to crack down on adult predators who sexually exploit teenagers, often luring them over the Internet. While few argue with the bill's intent, some who work with kids say it could confuse kids in typical teenage romances and discourage them from seeking sexual health advice."
  • Age of Consent to Sexual Activity FAQ (Justice Canada - September 2007)
  • Bill C-22: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (age of protection) and to make consequential amendments to the Criminal Records Act (August 2, 2007 - legislative summary for the government bill that died in the last parliamentary session): "Critics also note that there are already protections for young people because it is currently illegal for people in positions of authority or trust to have sex with a person under age 18. In addition, opponents of Bill C-22 contend that changing the age of consent would remove discretion for judges to consider the circumstances of each case. A further criticism of Bill C-22 is that it comes from a government that wants young people to be charged as adults in court, but does not want them to be treated as adults when it comes to sexual matters (...) Another criticism of Bill C-22 is that it is misguided in its effort to combat the sexual exploitation of children. An age of consent of 18 for the purposes of prostitution has not stopped the majority of prostitutes from beginning work before that age. Rather than changing the law to raise the age of consent, some argue it would be more beneficial to concentrate upon sexual predators. To fight the exploitation wrought by the prostitution of young persons, the cause of that exploitation, namely prostitution itself, should be attacked. The reasons why young people are sexually exploited should be addressed before measures are taken to raise the age of consent."
  • Age of consent FAQ (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation): includes a table with age of consent information around the world

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:48 pm

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