Laws & child exploitation

The Vancouver Sun cites some outdated research from the US and confuses chatrooms with social-networking sites, but this about Canadian law and online child exploitation is notable: Because Canada's age of consent is 14, "under Canadian law, a 54-year-old man from Berlin can fly to Vancouver to have consensual sex with a 14-year-old girl he met on Facebook. Chillingly, neither the young girl's parents nor the police would be able to do a thing about it," the Sun reports. It adds that "these types of cases will continue to be prevalent in Canada until Bill C-22, which raises the age of consent to 16, is passed through the Senate." Canadian police say that because of 1) current law, 2) a lack of resources for law enforcement to focus on Internet crime, and 3) "Canadian youth are among the world's most active Internet users" (80% have access at home, 50% with little or no supervision), "it's up to parents to be more vigilant."

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