Sexual exploitation of children

The commercial sexual exploitation of children is a heinous form of child abuse which takes many forms, including child prostitution, child pornography and trafficking in children. Canada is committed to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Canada's efforts

Canada was instrumental in the drafting of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. This protocol requires nations who sign the convention to criminalize these activities. It also adds measures for protecting child victims. Canada signed the Optional Protocol in November 2001.

Canadian law includes a number of measures to combat the sexual exploitation of children and allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to be prosecuted for engaging in commercial sexual activities with children while abroad.

Addressing sexual exploitation

Canada provides funding for initiatives in the developing world to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation, including helping children and families. Canada supports projects that promote children's rights, provide protection and education, and assist the victims of the sex trade.

Many Canadian non-governmental organizations are also actively involved in efforts to end child sexual exploitation.

International agreements

Canada has ratified the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. This agreement strengthens cooperation among nations to prevent the abduction, sale or trafficking of children. Canada has ratified the Transnational Organized Crime Convention and both of its protocols including the Optional Protocol Against Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking.

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