Partnership Keeps 3 Million Canadian School Children Safer from Internet Dangers



    WINNIPEG, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - Nearly 3 million Canadian school children will
be safer on the Internet thanks to a unique partnership between provincial
governments and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
    Today, in recognition of International Safer Internet Day, nearly 3
million Internet safety brochures to address specific issues for children ages
8-9, 10-12 and 13-15, will be distributed throughout school systems by
provincial departments during the month of February. This effort will result
in children, parents and caregivers becoming better educated and more aware of
the risks that exist and the best ways to address them.
    "We need to send a strong message to parents that they need to pay
attention to the very serious threats their children face online," said
Rosalind Prober, Co-Founder of Beyond Borders Inc, a volunteer organization
which advances the rights of children to be free from abuse and exploitation
and Canadian affiliate of ECPAT International. "The distribution of this type
of information by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection plays an important
role in the education of our kids, both at home and in school," said Prober.
    "Through reports to Cybertip.ca from the public and our work with student
advisory groups, we have learned that children as young as 8 years old are
being exposed to sexually explicit material on the Internet," said Lianna
McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
"Partnering with various provincial governments and private sector partners
allows us to reach millions of Canadian school age children and provide their
parents with tools to help them manage these risks."
    In addition to exposure to sexually explicit material, children are also
at risk of being targeted through more sophisticated online techniques. For
example, Cybertip.ca has received hundreds of reports relating to children
10-12 years old engaging in multi-player gaming. Adults use avatars to
communicate with the children and establish relationships in these comfortable
environments. This makes children more likely to provide information that
increases their risk of being harmed.
    The brochures that are being distributed as part of Safer Internet Day
help parents to understand the specific risks for their child's age and
provide relevant suggestions for keeping their child safe from victimization.
    For more information, visit www.protectchildren.ca.

    Background:

    The Canadian Centre for Child Protection is a national, charitable
organization dedicated to the personal safety of all children. With roots in
community child protection for more than two decades, the Centre was
established to provide national intervention and prevention activities. Key
programs include Cybertip.ca, which has received nearly 25,000 reports from
Canadians, and Kids in the Know, which is being delivered in schools across
Canada. The Centre is proudly supported by the Government of Canada, Shaw,
Honeywell, TELUS and Bell.
    Each year Safer Internet Day is internationally recognized on the second
Tuesday of February to promote Internet safety for children around the world.
The primary purpose is to educate parents about their children's online
interests and encourage them to speak about ways to stay safe. Approximately
50 countries participate in recognizing and promoting Safer Internet Day and
dedicate time to raise awareness of online safety issues. This year Safer
Internet Day is on February 12th.





For further information:

For further information: Communications Coordinator,
communications@protectchildren.ca, (204) 945-1866

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Canadian Centre for Child Protection

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