Online Child Sexual Exploitation

Classification: Unclassified

Branch/Agency: CSCCB

Proposed Response:

Financial Implications:


Online child sexual exploitation is one of the digital age’s most pressing safety issues and it continues to increase in terms of scope, reach and impacts. The sexual exploitation of children is a heinous crime and is a serious concern for the Government, law enforcement agencies and partners in other levels of government and internationally.

The National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet (National Strategy) was launched in April 2004 and renewed on an ongoing basis in 2009. Public Safety Canada (PS) is the lead for the National Strategy and partners with the RCMP, Justice Canada (JUS) and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P), a not-for-profit organization.

The Strategy aims to:

PS coordinates and oversees the implementation of the National Strategy and leads the development of online child sexual exploitation policy.

Public Safety provides contribution funding to C3P to operate, the national tip-line, and for Project Arachnid, a web-crawling technology solution to identify and increase the rate of removal of child sexual abuse material.

The RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Crime Centre is the national law enforcement arm of the National Strategy, functioning as the central point of contact for investigations related to the online sexual exploitation of children across the country and internationally when the victim or offender is Canadian.

Justice Canada reviews and develops legislation, and provides training, advice and support to federal partners and others.

Recent investments of $22.24 million over three years, starting in 2019–20, support Public Safety Canada’s enhanced efforts to raise awareness of this serious issue and reduce the stigma associated with reporting, increase Canada’s ability to pursue and prosecute offenders, and work together with industry to find new ways to combat the sexual exploitation of children online.

Ongoing investments for partners under the National Strategy total over $18 million per year.


Prepared by: Mathilde Brière-Audet, Senior Policy Advisor, 949-9075

Approved by: Trevor Bhupsingh, A/ADM CSCCB/991-4281

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