Bill S-210, An Act to restrict young persons’ online access to sexually explicit materials, is a private member’s bill introduced by Senator Miville-Dechêne on November 24, 2021.
This bill will make it a criminal offence to make sexually explicit material available, for commercial purposes, to minors online.
Mainstream pornography frequently depicts violent, degrading and dehumanizing sexual content. This content is freely and easily accessible by children and youth. Children are being exposed to this abusive content at increasingly younger ages, when they lack the ability to understand or process what they are seeing.
A growing body of research indicates that widespread use of online pornography contributes to a broad range of harms, particularly to minors. Its impact on child psychosocial and sexual development and the way it is shaping sexual attitudes, behaviours and preferences, as well as the increase in compulsive behaviour and addiction related to viewing online pornography, constitute a public health crisis.
Bill S-210 proposes to set up crucial protection for minors from the harms of exposure to online pornography.
An earlier version of this bill, Bill S-203, passed in the Senate but died when the election was called on August 15, 2021. Update: This bill was passed by the Senate in April 2023 and as of May 2023 is before the House of Commons.