Sexual abuse of children is a worldwide epidemic that must be
fought on a number of fronts including legislation. On March 27,
2015, the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act was
passed. This legislation amends a number of other pieces of
legislation in an attempt to toughen laws against perpetrators who
prey on children. The Act amends the Criminal Code of
Canada to increase mandatory minimum penalties and maximum
penalties for certain sexual offences against children, to increase
maximum penalties for violation of probation orders and peace bonds
and to require courts to impose consecutive sentences on offenders
who commit sexual offences against children.
It also amends the Canada Evidence Act to ensure that
spouses of the accused can be forced to testify as witnesses for
the prosecution in cases involving child pornography. This
legislation amends the Sex Offender Information Registry
Act to increase reporting obligations of sex offenders who
travel outside Canada. Finally, it creates the High Risk Child
Sex Offender Database Act to establish a publicly accessible
data base that contains information that a police service or other
public authority has previously made accessible to the public with
regard to persons who are found guilty of sexual offences against
children and who impose a high risk of committing crimes of a
Since 2006, the Government has been taking active steps to
protect children. Some of these steps including making it illegal
to provide sexually explicit material to a child for the purpose of
facilitating a sexual offence and increasing the age of consent
from 14 to 16 years as well as enacting legislation to make
reporting of child pornography by internet service providers
mandatory and making it illegal to use computers or other
telecommunications to agree with or make arrangements with another
person to commit a sexual offence against a child. These new
amendments certainly further demonstrate the Canadian
Government's commitment to this important issue.
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