Protection of Children involved in Prostitution Act

This legislation which came into effect February 1, 1999 – the first of its kind worldwide – significantly changed how this social issue was viewed by recognizing that children involved in prostitution are victims of sexual abuse.

Previously, many believed that prostitution was a lifestyle choice and often, children involved in prostitution were charged with solicitation.Under the Act, the Alberta Government has introduced programs and services to help children end their involvement in prostitution. A child who wants to end his or her involvement in prostitution may access community support programs. A child who does not want to end his or her involvement in prostitution can be apprehended by police or a caseworker. The police or caseworker would then take the child to a protective safe house, where the child can be confined for up to five days. At this safe, secured facility, the child receives emergency care, treatment and an assessment. The development of a long-term plan to assist the child to exit prostitution begins. This legislation also introduces legal penalties for johns and pimps, who can be charged with causing the child to be in need of protection and fined up to $25,000, jailed for up to two years, or both fined and imprisoned.

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