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Crimes, Not Cultures


Crimes, Not Cultures

Canada is now home to hundreds of cultural communities coming from different parts of the world. Because of our commitment to multiculturalism as our national policy, Canadian service providers often face a dilemmawhen intervening in a conflict situation that involves a specific cultural practice. They do not want to offendcultural sensibilities of the involved cultural community. This may sometimes lead to confusing crimes as cultural practices. These communities and their countries of origin are taking every possible measure to identify and punish crimes masquerading as cultural practices. If we fail to do the same, victims of thesecrimes may be left unprotected in Canada and Canada may become a safe haven for the criminals.

These are not familiar crime situations for us. How do we understand them? Do we have laws or othersystemic support in Canada to protect the victims and punish the guilty? As global migrations increase, crimesare beginning to transcend international boundaries. Culprits, who have their bases in many differentcountries, may find it convenient to commit a crime in one country and escape to another country. Protectingthe victims, when crimes cannot be defined or proven, and the guilty cannot be tracked down or punished, is a huge challenge of our time and the entire world is battling against it. Cross-border enforcement of legal actionsis beset with major challenges created by nationalities of victims and offenders, the jurisdiction of courts, recognition and enforceability of foreign judgments, and conflicts between laws of different countries.

This book explores possible solutions to certain crime situations and options available to us through Canadian laws. It presents cases from courts of different countries as examples. It identifies service and system gapsand points to directions for a change. Its message to both service providers and victims is SOLUTIONS EXIST.

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