Your rights and the law

Your rights

Regardless of your situation, you have rights. If you feel your rights are not being respected, here are some resources to help you:

Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse: Call 1-800-361-6477 or visit the site of the organization

Legal aid offices in your area : we suggest a google search using the terms « Legal aid office » + « your region » to find out who to contact.

If you’re in a rehabilitation centre (youth centre), ask your social worker for the contact information of the following resources:

Committee of users for your institution

Office of the local commissioner for complaints and quality of services

Jeunes: Tes droits et lois
Jeunes - Tes droits et les lois
Jeunes - Tes droits et les lois

Running away in Quebec

In Quebec, we have laws to protect children and young people. Your parents are your primary caregivers. They are responsible for your custody, supervision and education until you reach the age of majority. Before you turn 18, you may not leave the place where you live without the consent of the people responsible for you.

What happens if you decide to run away? Here are a few possibilities:

Police officers have to look for you and bring you back home.

There may be a request for service under the Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services.

Your situation may require an intervention under the Youth Protection Act.

The purpose of these laws is to ensure your safety and development, as well as provide you with the services you need to be comfortable where you live.

If you’re living at a rehabilitation centre, some things may be different. Find out more on the "Running away from a rehabilitation centre" page.

Running away from a rehabilitation centre

If you’re living at a rehabilitation centre, you’re considered a runaway if:

You leave the centre without asking for permission.

You fail to return from an outing at the scheduled time.

In these situations, your youth workers must report you as a runaway.

When you return to the rehabilitation centre, here’s what will happen:

You can eat, wash yourself and sleep.

You’ll be offered an appointment with the healthcare service.

Your parents, social worker (authorized person), educator and any other person involved in your case will have a discussion together. You’ll also be involved in certain discussions. The goal is to address your needs in the best possible way.

In some cases, running away may have an impact on your accommodation:

You may need to move to a new environment because your space in your unit had to be filled by another young person.

You may be transferred to a new environment better suited to your needs.

A measure to prevent you from running away may be temporary applied if you’re still at risk of running away and could put yourself or others in danger.