moved for leave to introduce Bill C-421, an act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (definition of child).
Madam Speaker, this amendment also deals with the definition of a child to ensure that its interpretation is consistent with the definition proposed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which was adopted by Canada.
We are dealing with children in the law. In 1991 about 146,000 or 22 per cent of the 670,000 federal statute charges were laid against young offenders. About 18,800 or 13 per cent of the 146,000 charges laid against them were for the perpetration of violent crimes. This represents an increase of 102 per cent, up from 9,300 cases in 1986.
The number of charges laid against young offenders for committing violent crimes has risen steadily in the last number of years, especially when compared to the number of charges laid against adults for committing similar crimes. For example, of the 2.6 million non-traffic Criminal Code offences that were reported by the police in 1990, 22 per cent were committed by young offenders.
I am not saying that an amendment to this legislation will solve the problem. It is one step in the right direction of how we deal with children in terms of our responsibilities and their rights.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed.)