Dozens of child sex dolls seized by Canadian border agents

Canadian border officers have seized dozens of sex dolls with child-like dimensions and features — an emerging trend child welfare advocates fear could fuel exploitation of real children.

Records obtained by CBC News under access to information law show the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) intercepted at least 42 child-like dolls designed explicitly for sex between January 2016 and August 2018, seizing them as illegal child pornography.

Border officers in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Hamilton and Quebec have come across dozens of these child dolls and reproductions of child-like body parts, such as chests and pelvic areas. Of those documented seizures, 30 took place in Quebec.

Officials estimate the dolls they seized can range in value from $50 each to nearly $8,000.

In some places in the documents obtained by CBC News, border officers provide detailed descriptions of the dolls to explain why they’re being classified as child pornography. According to the documents, the silicone dolls resembled pre-pubescent girls under the age of 18 because they were small in stature and had underdeveloped breasts.

Some of the dolls seized, according to the documents, have interchangeable heads, heating elements and clothing. Some come with Hello Kitty hairclips, brushes and blankets.

Dolls coming from China, Japan

China and Japan are the primary sources for the dolls cited in the documents.

CBSA could not provide any more details on the number or types of seizures. The agency said that, in general, the sex dolls its officers are seeing at the border now are built to be more life-like than past models.

The agency said it has not noted an increase in the number of child sex dolls being smuggled into Canada. The agency would not provide a photo of the seized items, or allow CBC to take a photo of them.

“The interdiction of child pornography is something the CBSA takes very seriously,” spokesperson Nicholas Dorion wrote in an email. “The agency works closely with its domestic and international law enforcement partners to ensure the safety and security of Canadians.”

Dorion would not specify how the illicit dolls are being detected by border officers, but said CBSA officers have legal authority to examine personal baggage, conveyances and goods carried by people arriving in and leaving Canada. Officers are “vigilant and trained” in detecting prohibited goods, he added.

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