Public Safety Canada Webinar Series 2023
Combatting Online Child Sexual Exploitation

Hosted by Public Safety Canada, 2023


Public Safety Canada leads the National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet, launched in 2004, and works in collaboration with Justice Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

In 2022-2023, Public Safety hosted a three-part webinar series on combatting online child sexual exploitation. The objectives of these webinars were to:

This report provides a summary of the webinar 2023 series titled “Combatting Online Child Sexual Exploitation.”

Key Themes from the Webinar Series

While each webinar focused on a different topic related to OCSE, three key themes emerged across the series:

  1. OCSE is a complex crime that is still not yet fully understood.
    • OCSE takes various forms that impact victims and survivors in different but harmful ways.
    • Despite the leaps made in studying its complexity, gaps remain in understanding OCSE, including how boys are victimized.
    • These gaps can be filled by listening to the voices and stories of victims and survivors.
  2. There are benefits and drawbacks to using technology to combat OCSE.
    • Technology unlocks massive potential for detecting and investigating OCSE, especially when considering the speed and capacity at which it can scan and sort online content.
    • At the same time, technology makes mistakes that can only be corrected by humans. It also poses privacy concerns and concerns surrounding misinformation when data is not properly vetted and communicated.
  3. Awareness and education are essential components in preventing OCSE.
    • Prevention is an important pillar of addressing OCSE that involves training and education among all stakeholders, including parents, caregivers, schools and law enforcement actors.
    • At the core of prevention should be the message that victims and survivors deserve support and are never to blame for the violence that they endure.

Webinar 1: The Use of Technology in Combatting Online Child Sexual Exploitation - December 2, 2022

Discussion Highlights

Presentation 1: AI for Safer Children's Global Hub: The Platform for Law Enforcement to Leverage AI to Fight OCSE. Maria Eira, Information and Technology Officer, Centre for AI and Robotics, United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute

Presentation 2: Using Griffeye Analyze DI Pro to Streamline Investigations. Sherry Torres, Police Detective/Digital Forensic Examiner/UN Consultant/Griffeye Trainer

Presentation 3: Project Arachnid: Industry and the Proactive Detection of CSAM. Lloyd Richardson, Director of Technology, The Canadian Centre for Child Protection

Webinar 2: Sextortion and Emerging Trends - January 27, 2023

Discussion Highlights

Presentation 1: Trends in Financial Sextortion. Analysts from the National Child Exploitation Crime Centre and the Sensitive and Specialized Investigative Services, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Presentation 2: Project Maverick. Detective Lesley Zimmer, Internet Child Exploitation Unit, Toronto Police Service' Detective Staff Sergeant Timothy (Tim) Brown, Ontario Provincial Strategy Coordinator, Ontario Provincial Police

Presentation 3: An Analysis of Financial Sextortion Victim Posts. Kelly Barker, Research Analyst, Canadian Centre for Child Protection. Jacques Marcoux, Director of Research and Analytics, Canadian Centre for Child Protection

Webinar 3: The Role of Civil Society Organizations and Academia in the Fight Against Online Child Sexual Exploitation - February 24, 2023

Discussion Highlights

Presentation 1: Tackling Online Child Sexual Exploitation: A Programme of Research and Innovation. Simon Bailey, CBE, QPM, DL, Anglia Ruskin University, United Kingdom

Presentation 2: Leaving No One Behind: Taking Stock of the Latest Developments in the Area of Sexual Exploitation of Children. Guillaume Landry, Executive Director, ECPAT International

Presentation 3: Trajectories and Offending Patterns of Men Who Use the Internet to Sexually Exploit Children and Adolescents. Dr. Sarah Paquette, Scientific Researcher, Service de la coordination des enquêtes sur les crimes majeurs, Sûreté du Québec


Public Safety Canada would like to thank the presenters and participants for sharing their expertise and experiences during the 2022-2023 webinar series.

A key takeaway from this webinar series is the importance of research, education and training among all stakeholders, including parents, caregivers, schools, law enforcement and governments to more effectively prevent online child sexual exploitation.

Technology unlocks massive potential for detecting and investigating OCSE. However, despite advances made in studying the complexity of this crime, gaps remain, and can be addressed by listening to the voices of victims and survivors.

The Government of Canada continues to work with Provinces and Territories, non-governmental organizations, stakeholders, and international partners to combat the complex crime of online child sexual exploitation.

Date modified: