TORONTO, June 17, 2013 — The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced today that Canada is joining the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online.
“Our Government is committed to keeping our streets and communities safe and to protecting the most vulnerable members of society – our children,” said Minister Nicholson. “Child sexual exploitation is a horrific crime. Canada continues to lead, support and implement numerous initiatives, domestically and abroad, to prevent and combat the sexual exploitation of children, but no country can fight this crime alone.”
The goal of the Global Alliance is to strengthen international determination to fight Internet predators and child abuse images online. It focuses on identifying and helping victims, prosecuting offenders, increasing public awareness and reducing the availability of child pornography online.
The Internet has created new opportunities for sex offenders to prey on children all over the world. International cooperation is critical to effectively investigate cases of online sexual exploitation and to better identify and prosecute offenders. By working together through this international initiative, Canada and its partners will be able to secure the progress required to bring criminals to justice and get exploited children to safety.
“Online sexual exploitation of children knows no borders,” added Minister Nicholson. “Canada looks forward to working with the Global Alliance to achieve our common goals.”
Since 2006, the Government of Canada has put forward a number of measures to better protect children, including:
•putting in place the Safe Streets and Communities Act, which increased penalties for sexual offences against children and created two new offences aimed at conduct that could facilitate or enable the commission of a sexual offence against a child;
•strengthening the sex offender registry;
•increasing the age of protection from 14 to 16 years old;
•eliminating house arrest for criminals who commit serious and violent offences including for all child sexual offences;
•putting in place legislation to make the reporting of child pornography by Internet service providers mandatory; and,
•strengthening the sentencing and monitoring of dangerous offenders.
On February 4, 2013, the Government announced its intention to bring forward legislation to further toughen penalties for child sexual offences and to better address the risks posed by known child sex offenders. The Government’s Plan for Safe Streets and Communities is one of four priorities identified by the Prime Minister. This plan focuses on holding violent criminals accountable, enhancing the rights of victims, and increasing the efficiency of our justice system.