Tuesday, November 21, 2000 7:35 PM EST

Province toughens child prostitution law

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is strengthening its child prostitution legislation, even though it has already been ruled unconstitutional.

Suspected child prostitutes could be held almost 7 weeks without charges The legislation allowed authorities to hold suspected child prostitutes for up to 72 hours without being charged.

The government now wants to extend that confinement period to five days.

Authorities would also be able to apply for two additional 21 day confinement periods. That could keep the children in custody for almost seven weeks.

Last July a judge ruled the initial act violated children's rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That ruling is now under judicial review.

Justice minister Dave Hancock says the new legislation should pass the Charter test because children seized by authorities can have their confinement reviewed by a judge.

Representatives from police forces, shelters and the Liberal opposition say they're in favour of the changes.

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Created: December 6, 2000
Last modified: January 17, 2001
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