WINNIPEG, MB: Today, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection is proud to have held a roundtable discussion with the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada; law enforcement officials; industry and fellow advocates to strengthen our national resolve, commitment and coordination in our efforts to fight online child sexual exploitation.
It is through the Canadian Centre’s work in operating Cybertip.ca, Canada’s tipline for reporting online child sexual exploitation, that we have witnessed the growing proliferation of child sexual abuse images and material. The misuse of technology has accelerated the availability and circulation of child pornography, contributed to normalizing the sexualization of children, and made it abundantly easier for offenders to actively participate in this illegal behaviour. In the past year alone, child exploitation officers observed a total of 38,000 IP addresses sharing known child pornography images/videos in Canada.
“With the increased focus on privacy related issues in Canada, we must not lose sight of its direct impact on the protection and well-being of children. The evolving advantages of technology, combined with the shield of anonymity, have created an unbalanced scorecard between offenders and our ability to keep children safe,” says Lianna McDonald, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
In 2014/15, Cybertip.ca is expected to receive nearly 45,000 reports, the mass majority of which pertain to concerns about child sexual abuse images and material. 79% of the images assessed by Cybertip.ca as child pornography appeared to be produced in home settings and of those, 71% captured sex acts. The majority of victims in the images and videos assessed by the tipline are children under the age of 12.
The roundtable event involved promising discussions about ways to reduce the availability of child sexual abuse material, identifying more victims, increasing reports from Canadians, prevention and education efforts, and enhancing resources and training to stop offenders.