Published In

Alberta Law Review - Online Supplement

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2009

Subjects

Child Trafficking; Criminal Law Reform

Abstract

Under-aged girls as young as 12 years old are being subjected to sexual exploitation by traffickers according to a Criminal Intelligence Service of Canada (CISC); this is a pressing national problem, as organized crime networks are actively trafficking Canadian-born women and under-age girls within and between provinces and to the United States, destined for the sex trade. Law enforcement agencies are beginning to investigate and lay human trafficking charges under Canada’s Criminal Code s. 279.01 which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 14 years, and up to life imprisonment if the accused kidnaps the victim, subjects them to aggravated assault or aggravated sexual assault, or causes the death of the victim during the commission of the offense. However, there are currently no minimum sentences provided, even when the victim is a child. This is a serious gap in the current law, which Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (minimum sentence for offenses involving trafficking of persons under the age of eighteen years), aims to address by introducing a five-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for trafficking in persons under 18 years of age. The inappropriately short sentences handed down in two Canadian cases (Imani Nakpangi and Michael Lennox Mark) are discussed, lending strong support to the need for parliamentary intervention in the form of Bill C-268.

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