Press Release Put Community Impact Statements law into effect

Beyond Borders / ECPAT Canada: Put Community Impact Statements law into effect

Beyond Borders/ECPAT Canada called on June 21, 2015 on the Attorneys General and Ministers of Justice of Canada, the provinces and territories to allow community impact statements for sentencing in criminal proceedings. The Victim Bill of Rights Act enacted by Parliament allows for these statements but only if the procedures are established by programs of governments responsible for criminal proceedings.

The new law comes into force July 22nd. Beyond Borders/ECPAT Canada asked that the programs which the law requires to make community impact statements possible be put in place by that date.

David Matas, counsel for Beyond Borders/ECPAT Canada stated:

“Community impact statements are an important addition to the criminal process at sentencing of those convicted of crimes involving sexual abuse or exploitation of children. To date, those statements have been possible only with the consent of the accused. Children are ill placed to speak for themselves or to identify the harm inflicted, which is lifelong and changes in nature over time. Where the crime is possession of child pornography, the child victim may be difficult to identify. We need this new law to work in order to enhance the protection of children.”

Beyond Borders, headquartered in Winnipeg, advances the rights of children to be free from sexual abuse and exploitation. It is the Canadian national member of the international organization ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, & Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand.

For further information, contact
David Matas
Telephone: 204-944-1831