Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
1st Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 148, Issue 64
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker
Child Prostitution—Sex Tourism
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. This week we learned that at least 73 Canadians have been arrested outside of Canada for abusing or molesting children, or for possessing child pornography in the last three years. The number is a mere indication of how great the problem truly is in most cases of sex tourism, because it goes unreported.
In 1997, Bill C-27, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (child prostitution, child sex tourism, criminal harassment and female genital mutilation) was passed by both houses. I ask the Leader of the Government if she can please find out how many people have been prosecuted in Canada under this act. I only know of two cases.
This past weekend, Prime Minister Harper announced that our government would be providing support for projects to combat human smuggling in Thailand. What is our government doing to address the much broader and urgent problem of Canadian sex tourism in Thailand?
Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): Honourable senators, Senator Jaffer asked for some specific details on facts and figures with regard to prosecutions in Canada, and then she asked an additional question, which I will obviously have to take as notice and provide a written response.
Senator Jaffer: Honourable senators, I have four supplementary questions. What resources have been set aside to ensure that the provisions of Bill C-27, which deal with sex tourism, are properly enforced and implemented?
What resources and training are consular staff who work abroad provided to deal with cases of sex tourism?
How many security offices are there in Thailand to deal with the issue of sex tourism?
What steps are being taken to ensure that offenders are treated with the same severity that they would face had they exploited Canadian children?
Senator LeBreton: Those are all good and valid questions, honourable senators. I would be very happy to seek a written response.
I would be remiss if I did not, though, applaud the efforts of my colleague in the other place, Joy Smith, who, as honourable senators know, has worked tirelessly on human trafficking and has another private member’s bill before Parliament. If there is a champion on human trafficking and the abuse of women brought to this country for the sex trade, I can think of no person more deserving of our thanks than Joy Smith.
Senator Jaffer: Honourable senators, I would also like to join the leader because I work very closely with Joy Smith and I know the work she does. I work with her closely in Vancouver on issues of human trafficking and I would also like to take this opportunity to commend her work.
However, I ask that the leader look at this specific issue, which is more than human trafficking; it is Canadian men going to Thailand and committing acts of sex tourism. I would like answers to the questions I asked.