Montreal

Parents hopeful report into Laval runaways brings change

The Quebec government launched the independent review in order to address the runaways which occurred over a period of weeks in February, by teenagers linked to the Centre Jeunesse de Laval.

Youth protection minister mandated an independent investigation into the runaways

The doors to the Centre Jeunesse de Laval have be locked around the clock since the runaways took place. (Radio-Canada)

The parents of girls who ran away from a Laval group home say they have high expectations for a report expected to be handed in to the government today.

Lucie Charlebois, Quebec's minister for youth protection, and Public Security Minister Martin Coiteux launched the independent review in order to address the runaways which occurred over a period of weeks in February, by teenagers linked to the Centre Jeunesse de Laval.

Lucie Charlebois, Quebec's minister for youth protection, ordered the report after a string of runaways from a Laval group home. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)
"We have to make sure that all the girls [who] go into [youth protection] are sufficiently protected," Charlebois said at the time.

The report isn't expected to immediately be made public.

Experts have raised concerns that the disappearances point to a larger problem involving the trafficking of young girls into prostitution.

Parents want changes

Josée Chaput's daughter was one of the girls who ran away from the home but was later found.

"We hope the doors remained locked," Chaput said of the decision to lock the doors 24 hours a day after the runaways.

"I spoke to the auditor for more than an hour and a half and I passed on the message."

The girl's father, Éric Hauptman, also remains hopeful changes are made.

"It might be best to better group the girls in the homes," he said.

"If a girl has already had experience with prostitution, it might not be the best idea to place her with girls who have run away but who have not gone into prostitutions." 

Hauptman and Chaput say they have been happy with the work investigators have done since their daughter returned.

But they hope more services will be made available to troubled youth.

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