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Child-sex tourism law not enforced, professor claims

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Apr 02, 2008

VANCOUVER - Canada is one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to enforcement of its own child-sex tourism law, says a law professor who has analysed information obtained from the Justice Department.

At least 146 Canadians have been charged overseas for sexually abusing children, Benjamin Perrin of the University of British Columbia has found.

He said many more Canadians have likely bribed their way out of being charged in jurisdictions such as Thailand and Cambodia where children are easy prey for foreign pedophiles.

The data on Canadians charged abroad between 1993 and 1997 was released to Perrin through a Freedom of Information request.

"To date, the Canadian policy has been to not aggressively, or even actively, enforce our own child-sex tourism law and that needs to change," Perrin said yesterday.

"It's one of the most underenforced provisions of the Criminal Code."

Canada's child-sex tourism law was enacted in 1997 and bolstered five years later to no longer require the foreign country where allegations of sexual abuse took place to consent to the charges.

Donald Bakker is the only person in Canada to be convicted under the law after he pleaded guilty in 2005.

He received a 10-year sentence for 10 sexual assaults on girls between ages seven and 12 in Cambodia, where he videotaped his exploits.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Rick Greenwood said police forces globally are overwhelmed with child-sex cases in developing countries.

Child-sex tourism law not enforced, professor claims

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