The protection of children involved in prostitution act : case study and field analysis
Seguin, Maureen L
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The Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution (PCHIP) Act, which was passed in Alberta in 1999 and subject to immediate constitutional challenge, demonstrates the relationships between the fields of politics and law, and between youth criminal justice and child welfare legislation. The Act allowed authorities to apprehend and detain a youth engaged, or at risk of becoming engaged in prostitution for five to forty-seven days in a protective safe house. Though the PCHIP Act was passed as child welfare legislation, the punitive nature of the detainment led some to argue that the PCHIP Act was actually youth criminal justice legislation. This blurry boundary between child welfare and youth justice has negative consequences for particular groups of youth. In this case, Aboriginal female youth are disproportionately detained at protective safe houses. This research applies concepts from Pierre Bourdieu and other theorists to critically analyze the PCHIP Act as a case study. By drawing on various types of data, including the PCHIP Act, legislative debates, court transcripts, newspaper articles, government reports, and academic literature, two areas of inquiry are addressed. The first issue is the relationships and boundaries between the fields of politics and law, and between child welfare and youth criminal justice legislation. Secondly, this thesis attempts to explain why Aboriginal females are disproportionately confined by the PCHIP Act. This research concludes that the fields of politics and law constantly interact with each other, and the boundaries between child welfare and youth criminal justice are vulnerable to the outcomes of these conflict-ridden exchanges. These struggles, compounded by historical factors, have negative consequences for female Aboriginal youth in particular.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeWotherspoon, Terry; Wiegers, Wanda A.; Monture, Patricia
Child welfare law
Youth criminal justice