Publication Ban

Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act
Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act

The need to protect the privacy of vulnerable people is balanced with our responsibility to be open and accountable about the work we do and how we do it. In keeping with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, we must limit disclosure of personal information of the individuals and families we serve.

To help ensure the privacy of children and their parents or guardians, the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and the Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act prohibit the publication of specific identifying information in a manner that reveals a child’s involvement with the child intervention system.

What does the publication ban cover?

The Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, section 126.2(1), prohibits the publication of the name and photograph of a child, or the child’s parent or guardian, if the publication reveals that the child is receiving, or has received, intervention services. The Act contains a definition of intervention services. These services include, but are not limited to, foster care, secure services, and enhancement services provided to a family in their home. For further clarification on what constitutes an intervention service, see s.1(1)(m.1) of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act.

The Protection of Sexually Exploited Children Act, section 6.3(1), includes a similar publication ban. Under this legislation, help is available to children who are sexually exploited through prostitution.

Are there any exceptions to the publication ban?

There are circumstances in which the name or photograph of a child, parent or guardian can be published:

  • The Director of Child, Youth and Family Enhancement believes it is in the best interests of the child or necessary for the proper administration of justice and consents to the publication.
  • The child is 16 years of age or older and consents to the publication of his or her information. (Note: the child cannot consent to publication of the parent/guardian’s information.)
  • The court grants permission, upon application by an interested party, to publish the name or photograph of the child or parent or guardian on the basis that publication is in the child’s best interests or in the public interest.

What is the penalty for breaching the publication ban?

The penalty for breaching the publication ban is a fine of up to $10,000, or in default of payment, imprisonment for a term of up to 6 months.

If you are unclear about whether a story breaches the publication ban, you are encouraged to seek legal advice. General questions about the publication ban can be directed to hs.communications@gov.ab.ca.

Created: 2007-03-26
Modified: 2014-01-17
PID: 4914