Actions to Combat Online Child Sexual Exploitation
On This Page:
- National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet
- National Strategy Partners
- Federal Investments
Canada’s National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet
Public Safety Canada leads the National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet (National Strategy), which was created in 2004. Efforts under the National Strategy can be categorized under four broad pillars:
Prevention and Awareness
- Increasing awareness among children and youth, parents, teachers, health professionals, and others of the risks of online child sexual exploitation (OCSE)
- Reducing stigma around disclosure
- Supporting initiatives that help prevent child sexual exploitation on the Internet
Pursuit, Disruption and Prosecution
- Identifying, apprehending, and prosecuting offenders
- Protecting victims from further abuse through victim identification
- Accelerated detection and removal of publicly available images
- Providing support services for victims and survivors
Partnerships, Research and Strategic Support
- Strategic policy development
- Research to advance knowledge of OCSE
- Support to National Strategy partners
- Ongoing engagement with domestic and international stakeholders
The National Strategy's goals are to:
- Provide coordination and oversight of federal efforts to combat OCSE
- Support law enforcement capacity to combat OCSE
- Enable the reporting of OCSE to proper authorities
- Support victims of OCSE by facilitating the removal of imagery/videos
- Facilitate research on OCSE to increase understanding of the scale and scope of the issue and to inform action
- Increase public awareness and reduce stigma associated with disclosure
- Work with digital industry to find new ways to combat OCSE.
National Strategy Partners
Public Safety Canada coordinates and oversees the implementation of the National Strategy and leads the development of policy and research on online child sexual exploitation.
National Child Exploitation Crime Centre
The RCMP's National Child Exploitation Crime Centre (NCECC) is the national law enforcement arm of the National Strategy and serves as the central point of contact for investigations related to the sexual exploitation of children online across the country and internationally, when the victim or offender is Canadian.
The Department of Justice Canada reviews and develops legislation, and provides training, advice and support to federal partners and others.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P)
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) is a key partner under the National Strategy. C3P is a charitable organization dedicated to reducing child victimization by providing national programs and services to the public. They are responsible for the operation of Cybertip.ca, where Canadians can report suspected cases of online sexual exploitation of children.
C3P also manages Project Arachnid, an automated web crawler that detects and processes tens of thousands of images per second and sends take down notices to online service providers to remove child sexual abuse material globally.
Public Safety Canada provides $2.95 million per year to C3P to support Cybertip.ca, Project Arachnid and public awareness efforts.
- The Government of Canada expanded its commitment to combatting online child sexual exploitation through Budget 2022, with an additional $41.6 million over five years and $8.9 million ongoing to Public Safety Canada. This funding builds on a Budget 2019 investment of $22.4 million over three years to support the following activities:
- Increase prevention activities, raise awareness, and reduce the stigma associated with disclosure
- Enhance Canada's ability to pursue and prosecute offenders
- Expand and share knowledge on the issue and enhance collaboration among partners and stakeholders combatting this crime.
- Budget 2017 invested $6 million over five years, and $1.3 million per year ongoing, for Public Safety Canada through Gender-Based Violence Strategy (Women and Gender Equality Canada), 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.
- In 2009, the Government announced $41 million over five years, and $8.1 million ongoing, for the renewal and expansion of the 2004 National Strategy on an ongoing basis.
- In 2007, the Government announced additional funding of $6 million ongoing per year to advance efforts to combat child sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Justice Canada became an official partner of the Strategy, replacing Industry Canada, and received funding to provide training, legal advice, and support to National Strategy partners.
- The National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet was announced in 2004 with funding of $42 million over five years. Funding was allocated to Public Safety Canada, the RCMP, and Industry Canada, to implement the core objectives of the National Strategy.
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