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Am I allowed to engage in prostitution if I am under 18 ?

The short answer is no. 

12 and 13 year olds can consent to sex with people who are less than two years older than they are and 14 and 15 year olds can consent to sex with people who are less than five years older than they are. As for 16 and 17 year olds, there is no age limit for consenting to sex with older people.

This does not apply when there is a relationship of authority (teacher, coach, parental figure, etc.). It also does not apply when there is remuneration (in money, goods or services). 

When there is remuneration, the law considers that, if the person is a minor, they are a victim of sexual exploitation. Even among adults, sex work is criminalized : it is illegal in Canada to purchase sexual services. People who sell sex are considered victims and clients are considered criminals. 

If a minor selling sexual service is reported to the authorities, the Director of Youth Protection (DYP) is mandated to intervene. Interventions involve the minor and his or her family. This can take the form of a periodic follow-up and, in some cases, a stay in a youth center. 

Despite these laws, minors exchange and sell sexual services for many reasons and to meet various needs. If this is your case, you may experience several difficulties : stigmatization, isolation, conflicts with those around you, violence that can take many forms… 

Do not hesitate to contact a PIaMP worker if you are selling sexual services or if you are thinking of doing so. We are here to support you, without judgment.

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