Friday , January 15 2021

Sexual exploitation: Quebec in a hurry to help survivors

The Special Commission on the Sexual Exploitation of Minors urges the Legault government to rapidly improve the lot of “survivors” by making this issue a “national priority”.

This is the first of 58 recommendations contained in their final report tabled Thursday in the National Assembly after more than a year of work, marked by the tabling of 66 briefs and the hearing of 67 witnesses.

Promising that this report “will not be shelved”, Prime Minister François Legault announced that he had entrusted Deputy Prime Minister Geneviève Guilbault with the mandate to implement these recommendations.

Better fund victim support organizations, organize youth centers to ensure that boys and girls do not get involved, launch national awareness campaigns against the exploitation of minors: these cast a wide net ( see box).

Their authors stress, among other things, the importance of reviewing the Social Assistance Program so that it is granted to minors who are victims of sexual exploitation and to those without status.

A pressing project according to the solidarity deputy Alexandre Leduc, who believes that a reform of the compensation program for victims of crime (IVAC) is necessary.

“That is to say, the integration of crimes related to sexual exploitation as an act that can lead to compensation. It would be a quick act that could help lift many women out of poverty quickly, ”he said.

There are other factors as well which can provoke back and forth into prostitution, but it is clearly poverty and then financial insecurity that are the first factors of return to prostitution.

The authors of the report also insist on the importance of taking action against “pimps”, because even if the Criminal Code already provides for severe penalties for them, the Commission notes in its report “that too few arrests are made. “.

Regularly pointed out as fertile ground for the sexual exploitation of minors, major events such as the Canadian Grand Prix (Formula 1) in Montreal are also targeted by the Commission report. Its members propose to make their funding conditional on their organizers putting in place measures to fight against the phenomenon.

“These companies which contribute, consciously or not, to the dynamics of sexual exploitation should take more responsibility in its fight. The latter must be accountable for the activities that take place in their establishments or during the holding of an event ”, we note.

For the member for Gaspé, Méganne Perry-Melançon, the presentation of the report is already an important step in order to make the sexual exploitation of minors a “national priority”, like the first recommendation of the report.

“I think it should no longer be a taboo in society that young girls and boys are sexually abused by clients who have no mercy for what they are going through, for what they live, ”she insisted.

– Formally declares that the fight against the sexual exploitation of minors is a national priority.

– Entrusts experts with the mandate to produce an opinion concerning the presence of child pornography on sites linked to companies registered in Quebec.

– Incorporates specific content adapted to the prevention and risks of the sexual exploitation of minors during sexuality education in primary and secondary education.

– Develops vast multiplatform and recurrent awareness campaigns aimed at reminding people of the criminal nature of the purchase of sexual services.

– Set up an internet notification system that targets people seeking the sexual services of minors.

– Fund at the mission community organizations fighting against the sexual exploitation of minors rather than by project and that this funding be increased.

– Improves the training of workers who may be involved in cases of sexual exploitation of minors.

– Make the grants to major events conditional on the implementation of measures to raise awareness and prevent the sexual exploitation of minors.

– Calls on the federal government to authorize the imposition of consecutive sentences for traffickers in the trafficking of persons under the age of 18.

– Ensures that convicted client abusers are registered in the National Sex Offender Registry.

– Proposes a modification to the law in order to grant social assistance to underage victims of sexual exploitation and to people without status, in particular.

– Organizes youth centers to ensure that boys and girls do not get involved in order to optimize the recovery of victims of sexual exploitation.

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