One of the things I really like about Canada is how they at least try to exercise a bit of common sense and respect for people’s dignity. Strip searches are never pleasant for anyone being subjected to them. For transsexual (especially pre-op) and transgender folks they are often occasions marred with added abuse and humiliation at the hands of the authorities.
This piece from a Canadian source suggest an attempt to avoid some of the embarrassment and humiliation.
From IFP Press: http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2011/12/07/19090066.html
By Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau
Last Updated: December 7, 2011
Anyone who’s had a sex-change operation – or just feels neither fully male nor fully female – has a special option available if pulled aside for a strip search by a border services officer (BSO).
QMI Agency has learned the Canada Border Services Agency issued a directive in August telling officers that transsexual and intersexed individuals can choose whether a man or a woman will search them.
Or they can opt for a “split search,” notes the directive, which involves two sets of border services officers – one all male, the other all female.
“The first set completes the search of the upper body while leaving the lower body clothed,” says the directive. “The individual is then permitted to fully dress, and is turned over to a second set of BSOs of the opposite sex to conduct the search of the lower body, while the upper body remains clothed.”
Officers can pull aside someone entering or leaving Canada and require a strip search if the traveller is suspected of violating the Customs Act, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act.