Removal of Child from Canada

Removal of Child from Canada

The offence of removal of a child from Canada is outlined in section 273.3(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of removal of a child from Canada when they take a child under the age of 18 out of the country to commit an act that, if committed in Canada, would be a specific criminal offence. The specific offences depend on the child’s age and differ if the child is between 18 to 16 or under 16.

Examples

Person A, aged 45, brings person B, aged 14, to a country where the age of consent is 14 so that person A can touch person B for a sexual purpose without facing criminal charges in Canada.

Person C, aged 50 brings person D, aged 17, to a country that permits adults to profit from people under 18 engaging in sex work. Person C intends to profit from person D doing sex work without facing criminal charges in Canada.

Cases

R. v. Oler, 2019 BCSC 1453

In R. v. Oler, the accused was convicted of one count of removing a child from Canada for taking his 15-year-old daughter to the United States so that she could be married to another member of his church. The accused was aware that this would make his daughter subject to sexual touching, which is a criminal offence in Canada.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

In Canada

Where the person does not take the child outside of Canada but takes them somewhere within Canada, they have not completed the offence of removal of a child from Canada.

Not a Child

Where the person does not remove a child under the age of 18 from Canada but leaves the country with a person older than 18 years of age, they have not completed the offence of removal of a child from Canada.

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