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Bill C-27

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This enactment amends the Criminal Code in respect of certain offences relating to violence against women and children.

The enactment modifies existing provisions to facilitate the appre hension and prosecution of persons seeking the services of children involved in prostitution, whether in or outside Canada.

It also creates an offence of aggravated procuring, with a minimum sentence of five years' imprisonment, for a person living on the avails of prostitution in relation to a person under the age of eighteen, and who uses violence against the person under that age and assists that person to carry on prostitution-related activities for profit.

The enactment provides for an enhanced penalty where a person convicted of criminal harassment also violates a protective court order. It also provides that, irrespective of whether a murder was planned and deliberate, stalkers who ultimately kill their victims are liable for first degree murder when they intended to cause the person murdered to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.

Although the current Criminal Code provisions, in particular those related to aggravated assault, apply to the practice of female genital mutilation, the enactment specifies that female genital mutilation is a ``maiming'' or ``wounding''. The enactment expressly provides that persons under the age of eighteen cannot consent to female genital mutilation as defined, nor can any other person consent for them.

Finally, the enactment extends the special provisions available in the Criminal Code to ease the testimonial burden of young complainants in respect of certain specified offences, to young witnesses testifying in those cases.