OTTAWA, Aug. 6, 2019 /CNW/ - Online child sexual exploitation is an abhorrent and horrific crime whose victims suffer devastating and long-lasting consequences; and technological advances have enabled this type of criminal activity to become more sophisticated. The Government of Canada, along with its international partners, is committed to protecting children from sexual exploitation of any kind.
Today, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, announced the expansion of the National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet.
Building on investments in Budgets 2017 and 2018 to combat online child sexual exploitation, Budget 2019 expanded its investment with an additional $22.24 million over three years to better protect children. These include:
- $2.09M to intensify our engagement with digital industry leaders to help them maintain their focus, develop new tools online and support effective operating principles;
- $4.9M to increase prevention activities, such as more research, public engagement, awareness and collaboration with partners; and
- $15.25M to enhance the capacity of Internet Child Exploitation Units in provincial and municipal police forces, and initiatives to inform and upgrade the work of prosecutors.
This funding will support Public Safety's (PS) efforts towards the four pillars of the National Strategy: raising awareness of this serious issue; reducing the stigma associated with reporting; increasing Canada's ability to pursue and prosecute offenders; and working together with industry to find new ways to combat the sexual exploitation of children online. Under the Contribution Program to Combat Serious and Organized Crime, PS will provide financial support to partners advancing prevention and intervention strategies.
Last week, members of the Five Eyes security alliance of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom met in London, UK, with digital industry leaders including Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Snap and Roblox, about the online sexual exploitation of children. Ministers reiterated their expectations that digital industry will make it a priority to create a safer online environment for children, and agreed to continue to work cooperatively to combat this vile and despicable crime.
"The crime of sexual exploitation of children is abhorrent, and intolerable to all decent people. It is a serious concern for the government, law enforcement agencies and partners in other levels of government and internationally. Our government's continued commitment at the international level, with our Five Eyes partners, and at home supporting law enforcement efforts to investigate and track down predators, enhance public awareness, and work more closely with digital industry, will make a meaningful impact in the fight against this scourge."
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
"All children deserve to feel safe, both online and offline. Canada's criminal laws are designed to protect children against all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse. Our government continues to work closely with all partners to prevent child sexual exploitation-related offences, support victims and their families, and ensure that those who target children in this way are prosecuted and punished for these heinous crimes"
- The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
- Public Safety Canada has been leading the National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet since 2004 in partnership with Justice Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
- Through the National Strategy, funding is provided to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) which manages Cybertip.ca, the national tip line, and provides the public with a broad range of education and awareness materials for children, educators and parents, as well as support to victims.
- Justice Canada reviews and develops legislation, provides training and supports federal partners and stakeholders.
- Budget 2018 allocated $19 million over five years for the RCMP's National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, and $5.8 million ongoing. The Centre functions as the point of contact for investigations related to online child sexual exploitation involving Canadian victims and/or offenders.
- Through Canada's Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, Budget 2017 invested $6 million for Public Safety to enhance public awareness; improve policy coordination and research; as well as support C3P's Project Arachnid, which is a tool to help identify and remove child sexual abuse material online.
- Child Sexual Exploitation on the Internet
- National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre
- Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence
- Five Country Ministerial and Quintet of Attorneys General Concludes
SOURCE Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
For further information: Scott Bardsley, Manager of Media and Communications, Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 613-998-5681, [email protected]; Media Relations, Public Safety Canada, 613-991-0657, [email protected]