Tasers and Children

The CCRC drew attention to the issue of tasers and children through letters to members of the House of Commons Public Safety Committee. In an earlier presentation the RCMP stated that they use tasers on teenagers as young as 13 years old and they do not have specific policies or training for the use of tasers with adolescents. They also acknowledged publicly that use of this device poses high risks for the life and health of some targets, especially persons who are agitated.

The CCRC asked MPs to clarify RCMP policy and practice with regard to the situations in which the deployment of tasers is permissible with young people and eligible subjects in terms of level of risk for injury or death. Young people are still undergoing physical and psychological development, and therefore warrant consideration apart from adults.

As a government agency, the RCMP needs to ensure that it complies with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, particularly article 37 which prohibits cruel and inhuman treatment and article 19, which protects children from all forms of violence and injury.
These rights extend to situations involving use of force by police during arrest and detention.

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