Welcome to JFCY’s Legal Wiki which provides information about the legal rights of children and youth in Ontario. Click here to download this information from our Publications page. Please contact us if you have any questions or trouble finding the information that you seek. You should speak to a lawyer for legal advice since laws often change.
These are some of the common issues that JFCY lawyers are asked about.
Youth Criminal Justice
The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) provides unique rights and procedures for young people between the ages of 12 - 17 who are charged with a criminal offence in Canada.
Going to school is a legal requirement for young people between the ages of 6 and 17. The Education Act gives parents and children specific rights in the publicly funded school system.
In Ontario, you can choose where you live when you are 16 years old. The decision to leave is often not easy and can lead to difficulties in getting all your belongings, having enough money to support yourself and attending school.
Health & Mental Health
Become informed about your legal rights when it comes to decisions about your healthcare and mental healthcare treatment. This includes any procedure carried out or prescribed by a health practitioner to diagnose or treat a physical or mental health condition.
Discrimination and LGBTQI2S Rights
The Ontario Human Rights Code protects you from discrimination on many grounds and in many social areas. Specific legal concerns raised by youth identifying in LGBTQI2S communities are about GSAs, Trans and Gender Inclusive Spaces and changing their ID.
You can be given a ticket for breaking a provincial law if you are over the age of 16. Some of the common laws that young people are given tickets for is covered in this section.
Family: Discipline, Children's Aid Societies, Parenting and Contact Orders
In family law, the rights of children are unique. Become informed about going into and being in the care of a Children's Aid Society, when parents can assault you (corporal punishment / spanking exemption to assault), and your right to be heard when your parents are splitting up.
Immigration & Refugee
JFCY's Childhood Arrivals and Support & Advocacy Program (CASA) provides services to young people who arrived in Canada as children and are living in Ontario without immigration status.
Homeless Youth Over 18
Street Youth Legal Services (SYLS) is a program that provides information and services for homeless youth between the ages of 16 - 25. These are some of the common issues that the SYLS lawyer is asked about.