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The focus of this manual section is on children (persons under 18 years of age) who are coerced, lured or engaged into a sexual act, exploited through the sex trade or pornography (also known as child sexual abuse images) , with or without their consent, in exchange for money, drugs, shelter, food protection or other necessities or rewards.
Policies and standards in this manual section are in addition to those in Section 1.3.3 Child Abuse, and Section 1.3.4 Provincial Child Abuse Investigations. Other relevant manual sections include Section 1.3.7 Working with Law Enforcement, and Section 1.4.7 Absent and Missing Children.
The following definitions in Section 1 of The Child and Family Services Act are directly relevant to this manual section:
Section 17 of the Act states a child is in need of protection where the life, health or emotional well-being of the child is endangered by the act or omission of a person. Illustrations in subsection (2) include a child who is abused or in danger of being abused including where the child is likely to suffer harm or injury due to child pornography (child sexual abuse images).
If using Section 52 of The Child and Family Services Act, or, if appropriate, seeking a protection order under The Child Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking Actthe orders would be attached to the offender’s file.
Sexual exploitation of children (persons under 18 years of age) is child sexual abuse and children who are victims are in need of protection. The definition of abuse in Section 1 of The Child and Family Services Act applies to any person, not just a parent, guardian or person who has the care, custody, control or charge of a child. It is a critical issue that affects all communities and requires a comprehensive response involving prevention, child protection investigations, prosecution of exploiters, and protection of the victims and their families.
The Child Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking Act became law on April 30, 2012. The CDEHT Act creates a protection order for victims of human trafficking or child sexual exploitation and allows certain parties to seek an order of protection on behalf of victims of child sexual exploitation and human trafficking. The law also allows a victim of human trafficking, as defined in the CDEHT Act, to sue their trafficker.
Where children are in care and CFS has guardianship according to The Child and Family Services Act, this legislation empowers child and family services agency workers, their respective authorities to make applications for protection orders on behalf of minor children who are being sexually exploited or trafficked.
In December 2002, Manitoba launched a strategy to address a growing concern about the sexual exploitation of children. Manitoba Sexual Exploitation Strategy requires increased access to training around the province and a network of dedicated workers trained to develop and share expertise on sexual exploitation within their organizations and networks. In 2008 the province released an update on the strategy. Tracia’s Trust requires Manitobans to work together to end child sexual exploitation.
This part provides a brief description of the following forms of child sexual exploitation:
Prositution (Child Abuse by Sex Trafficking)
Child Pornography (Child Sexual Abuse Images) and Sexualized Child Modeling
The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography defines child abuse by sex trafficking as the use of a child in sexual activities for remuneration or any other form of consideration.
Typically, sexual exploitation of children through child abuse by sex trafficking occurs in one of two ways: an exploiter intermediary (for example, a pimp or drug dealer) controls or oversees the child’s activities for profit, or an abuser (john) negotiates an exchange directly with a child. Most often it occurs in particular environments, homes, particular streets and zones and on the internet. Sometimes child abuse by sex trafficking is not organized, but usually it is, either on a small scale through individual exploiters or on a large scale through extensive criminal networks. It may also occur in other locations when children are forced or induced into exchanging sex for basic needs such as accommodation, food, clothing and safety, and for favours such as cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and extra pocket money.
Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking, which is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor; a modern-day form of slavery.
Human trafficking may occur across or within borders, may involve extensive organized crime networks, and is a violation of the basic human rights of its victims. Domestic trafficking refers to trafficking within Canada. International trafficking also refers to trafficking within Canada, but the victim in the process of being trafficked, crossed an international border.
All children in Manitoba who may be victims of human trafficking, no matter their province or country of origin, are afforded full access to child protection services in Manitoba.
The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime is the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime. The Human Trafficking National Coordination Centre was established by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to work in collaboration with international, national, provincial and municipal agencies and non-governmental organizations to develop policies, tools, mechanisms and initiatives to fight human trafficking in Canada and abroad.
The World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, defines sex tourism as “trips organized from within the tourism sector, or from outside this sector but using its structures and networks, with the primary purpose of effecting a commercial sexual relationship by the tourist with residents at the destination.
Article 34 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes the cross-border aspects of the sexual exploitation of children, as is often the case in child sex tourism, by requiring governments to take action through national, bilateral and multilateral measures. Article 35 calls for similar action with regard to abduction, sale and trafficking of children, which is linked to the global child sex industry.
Article 10 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography commits signatories to take all necessary steps to strengthen international cooperation by multinational, regional and bilateral arrangements.
The Criminal Code contains a number of offences relating to the sexual exploitation of children. For example, Sections 151, 152 and 153 pertain to sexual offences Sections 212 and 213 to procuring and child prostitution (child sexual abuse by prostitution), Sections 279.1 and 180 to kidnapping and abduction, and Sections 279.01 to 270.04 to human trafficking.
Canada has responded to the convention and protocol through an amendment to the Criminal Code. Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada who travel to another country to engage in sexual acts with children are now committing an offence under subsection 7(4.1) of the Criminal Code.
Child pornography (child sexual abuse images) is also a child protection issue from two aspects: the children who are victimized and the persons who produce or view the images. In many cases, a real child has been sexually abused in the production of child pornographic (child sexual abuse images) materials and then re-victimized over and over again each time the illegal material is viewed by perpetrators of child pornography (child sexual abuse images). This includes persons in Manitoba who produce, host, distribute or access child pornography (child sexual abuse images).
In contrast, sexualized child modeling is the display of a child through any medium including but not limited to a website, without a direct or indirect purpose of marketing a product or service other than the image of a child model. Many of the images fall just short of meeting the legal criteria for child sexual abuse images. However, possession of sexualized child modeling material may be indicative of a person’s sexual interest in children. Also, engagement of children in sexualized child modeling is frequently used to lure and groom a child for involvement in child pornography (child sexual abuse images).
The purpose of The Worker Recruitment and Protection Act(Manitoba) is to protect young models and temporary foreign workers from exploitation. Child performer is defined in Section 1 of this Act. Licensing requirements under Section 2 include child talent agency business and child performer recruitment. Section 14 pertains to work permits for child performers.
This form of child sexual exploitation involves approaching a child over the Internet for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a sexual offence.
In 2002, section 172.1 was added to the Criminal Code to criminalize electronic communication with a person believed to be a child for the purpose of facilitating the commission of sexual offences.
All sexually exploited children in Manitoba are in need of protection. They are among the most frequently abused, missing (lost) and victims to violent acts including murder. The majority of sexually exploited children are already in the care of child and family services agencies.
Child Protection Intervention
Working Closely with Law Enforcement
Providing Ongoing Service
Training for Agency Workers
Child and family services agencies have a statutory duty to investigate all reports of child sexual exploitation (see Section 1.1.2 Assessment, Child Protection Investigations) and to intervene to protect child victims.
Child abuse investigative procedures also apply (see Section 1.3.3 Child Abuse, Child Abuse Investigations). In some instances, child victims alleged in the report may not reside in Manitoba; however, agencies are still required to investigate and conduct an assessment of risk to Manitoba children posed by an alleged perpetrator if that person resides or was located for a period of time in Manitoba. For example, child victims may not reside in Manitoba in situations involving sex trafficking, sex tourism, child pornography (child sexual abuse images) and Internet luring.
A consistent and thorough approach is essential. For example, an agency receives a report that an adult male is harbouring an adolescent female for the purpose of engaging her in child prostitution (child sexual abuse by prostitution). The investigating agency subsequently learns there are other adolescent female victims. The agency must ensure all children (youth) are removed from the situation and that the adult male does not pose an immediate risk to other children.
As noted in Section 1.3.7, Working with Law Enforcement, it is critical that agencies work closely with police when intervening in cases involving child sexual exploitation.
This is for the following reasons:
On receiving a report or referral regarding suspected or alleged sexual exploitation of a child, an agency designated to provide intake services must complete the intake process and, when applicable, make a determination whether a case is to be opened for ongoing service (see Recording Requirements in this manual section.)
When the child victim does not reside in Manitoba and the jurisdiction where the child resides is known, the investigating agency must notify the appropriate child welfare authority in that jurisdiction.
Cases should not be closed at intake unless and until a decision is made that a child in Manitoba is not in need of protection and a suspected or alleged offender does not reside in Manitoba. There must be an open child protection record on a suspected or alleged offender in Manitoba.
Extraordinary measures may be indicated for sexually exploited children. For example, when a child’s life may be in danger due to a serious threat posed by someone exploiting the child such as a pimp, drug dealer or organized crime member, the child may require relocation to a confidential location. When a child is at risk of being moved across international borders, such as in cases involving sex trafficking and Internet luring, an agency may need to confiscate a child’s passport.
Agency staff responsible for managing complex cases involving any form of child sexual exploitation requires specialized training. New or inexperienced workers without this specialized training should not be assigned these types of cases. Child and family services authorities have a key role in assisting and supporting their agencies in this regard, especially for rural and northern agencies with generalized caseloads.
Agencies record information on a child sexual exploitation referral in accordance with provincial policies regarding the Intake Module in Section 1.1.1 Intake. Recording requirements include ensuring items that are directly relevant to child exploitation are on the Issues Screen identified by referral source screen on the Referral Source page on the Intake Module.
Information on Recording Practices is in Section 1.3.1 Services and Printing and Retention of Email is in Section 1.7.1 Service Records.
Child and family services agencies are required under subsection 7(1) of The Child and Family Services Act to work with other human services systems to resolve problems in the social and community environment likely to place children and families at risk. The Tracia’s Trust report identified a need to coordinate both existing services and any new initiatives in order to maximize service effectiveness to sexually exploited children.
Community services and resources relevant to addressing the issue of child sexual exploitation include:
Specialized placement resources have been developed for sexually exploited children. Staff at these resources have specialized training and expertise. Available resources include a safe transition home in Winnipeg, a rural healing lodge and specialized foster care beds in rural locations close to Winnipeg.
Agencies are encouraged to contact the Provincial Placement Desk at the Child Protection Branch for more information on placement options and resources.
The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act provides for investigations of complaints and orders with respect to a community or neighbourhood being adversely affected by activities on or near a property.
An agency may make a referral to a Public Safety Investigations Unit when a child or youth is found at a private residence suspected of illegal activities such as alcohol or drug distribution or sexual exploitation (see definition of specific use in Section 1 of The Safer Communities and Neighborhoods Act).Conversely, a public safety investigator who finds that children in a residence under investigation are or might be in need of protection has a statutory obligation under The Child and Family Services Act to report the matter to an agency
The Public Safety Investigations Unit has a mandate to conduct investigations throughout the province. This mandate includes First Nation reserves that have passed a by-law endorsed by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. For more information on the unit or to make a referral, contact:
Child Protection Branch
Public Safety Investigations Unit
Winnipeg MB 43C 3L6
Toll Free: 1-800-954-9361
Responsibilities of the Child Protection Branch relevant to this manual section are as follows:
This part covers additional requirements specific to child pornography (child sexual abuse images) based on amendments to The Child and Family Services Act that came into force in April 2009.
Child and Family Services
Handling Child Pornographic Material
Processing Referrals from Cybertip
Section 1 of the Child Pornography Reporting Regulation defines a reporting entity record and Section 2 designates the Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc. as a reporting entity for the purpose of receiving reports of child pornography (child sexual abuse images) under subsection 18(1.0.1) of The Child and Family Services Act. Sections 3, 4 and 5 pertain to security safeguards, retention and destruction of reporting entity records.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection operates Cybertip, Canada’s national tipline for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children. Cybertip accepts reports from any and all sources regarding:
Pursuant to subsection 18(1.0.1) of The Child and Family Services Act, suspected or alleged child pornography (child sexual abuse images) must be reported to Cybertip. This includes child and family services agencies. Reports regarding possible child pornography (child sexual abuse images) are submitted to Cybertip online at http://www.cybertip.ca or toll free at 866-658-9022.
In carrying out its duties under subsection 18.7(1) of The Child and Family Services Act, Cybertip analyzes a child pornography (child sexual abuse images) report and, on concluding that the representation, material or recording is potentially illegal, reports the matter to law enforcement in the appropriate jurisdiction. If either the child victim or the suspected or alleged offender is believed to be in Manitoba, Cypertip also reports the matter to child and family services through Child and Family All Nations Coordinated Response Network (ANCR).
Cybertip operates an electronic portal that is used to send reports securely to the police, ANCR and the Child Protection Branch.
Cybertip is required to store, retain and destroy child pornography (child sexual abuse images) reports in accordance with the Child Pornography Reporting Regulation and service purchase agreements entered into with the Government of Manitoba.
The police investigate reports or instances of child pornography (child sexual abuse images) and decide whether a person should be charged with an offence under the Criminal Code, another federal statute, or a provincial statute.
CFS agencies are responsible for reporting possible child pornography (child sexual abuse images) to law enforcement and to Cybertip and for conducting child protection investigations of referrals from Cybertip, law enforcement and the general public regarding possible child victims and suspected or alleged offenders.
It is illegal to access, possess or distribute child pornography (child sexual abuse images). If unavoidable, agency staff must be vigilant when handling possible child pornography (child sexual abuse images). It should be stored in a secure manner and handed over to the police as soon as possible.
Agency staff also has a responsibility to inform a person reporting child pornography (child sexual abuse images) not to disturb, search for or seize the material. Doing so could result in the person disturbing the integrity of evidence or implicating oneself in the commitment of an offence under the Criminal Code.
Child and Family All Nations Coordinated Response Network (ANCR) is the single point of contact for receiving and processing referrals from Cybertip regarding child victims or suspected or alleged offenders believed to be in Manitoba.
If the victim is a child in Manitoba, but outside ANCR jurisdiction, ANCR opens an intake case (see Intake Module in Section 1.1.1) and immediately transfers it to the appropriate designated intake agency (DIA), or if there is already an open case on the child’s family or the suspected or alleged offender, to the agency that has the open case. Information received from Cybertip is transferred securely through the Cybertip electronic portal and case information through the Child and Family Services Information System.
If the child victim or the suspected or alleged offender is in ANCR jurisdiction, ANCR completes the intake process using the Intake Module, conducts the investigation and, if applicable, transfers the case to an agency to provide ongoing services.
Subsection 18(1) of The Child and Family Services Act requires a person to report a child in need of protection (including abuse). Subsection (1.1) states when the person must report to an agency. Subsection (1.0.1) also requires a person to report possible child pornography (child sexual abuse images) to a reporting entity. Subsection 18.1(2) pertains to protecting the identity of informants.
Sections 18.2 through 18.7 prescribe the actions required of agencies, police and reporting entities in response to information or reports that indicate a child is or might be in need of protection.
Offence provisions in The Child and Family Services Act relevant to the issue of child sexual exploitation include causing a child to be in need of protection and failing to report children in need of protection (Section 18), interference with children in care (Section 52) and the sale of children (Section 84).
Age of Consent
The definition for age of consent for sexual activity in Canada is 16 years old. It was was raised from 14 years on May 1, 2008 by changes to Section 150.1 of the Criminal Code.
The Criminal Code contains a number of offences relating to the sexual exploitation of children. For example, Sections 151, 152 and 153 pertain to sexual offences, Sections 170, 171, 172 and 172.1 to corrupting morals, Sections 212 and 213 to procuring and child abuse by sex trafficking, Sections 279.1 and 280 to kidnapping and abduction, and Sections 279.01 to 279.04 to human trafficking.
In June 2002, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Canada) criminalized human trafficking, providing law enforcement with a specific mandate and tools to combat the issue of international human trafficking. In November 2005, amendments to the Criminal Code were made to address human trafficking, more specifically the issue of victim exploitation. Sections 279.01 to 279 .04 of the code apply to both international and domestic human trafficking (which includes sex trafficking)
This legislation adds a stand-alone protection order that imposes certain restrictions on the actions of an alleged offender (respondent) toward a child victim as the identified (subject) of the order. These orders can be granted on an urgent basis, and could contain conditions that prohibit the respondent from contacting, communicating, following, or being near the subject or anywhere the subject may be. Violations of the conditions of the order are subject to charges and penalties from Section 127 of the Criminal Code.