Edmonton… Today marks the fifth annual awareness day for Cybertip.ca, and ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation teams recognize the value of Canada’s tipline for reporting online sexual exploitation of children. Cybertip.ca is operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.
Cybertip.ca receives an average of more than 3,300 reports per month and encourages Canadians to protect children from offenders by taking action and reporting concerning online behaviour. If the information pertains to a potentially illegal incident, the report is sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
ALERT’s integrated Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) teams routinely rely on information provided by Cybertip.ca when conducting investigations related to child pornography, computer-related child sex abuse, child luring over the internet, voyeurism involving victims under the age of 18, and child sex trade/tourism. ICE is funded by the Alberta Government and is comprised of members of Calgary Police, Edmonton Police, Lethbridge Police, Medicine Hat Police, and RCMP.
A recent study conducted by the Canadian Centre examined close to 152,000 reports, including 43,762 unique images and videos classified as child pornography. Nearly 80 per cent of the images assessed by Cybertip.ca depicted very young, pre-pubescent children, under 12 years of age. One of the most alarming and under recognized facts is that almost 70 per cent of these images appeared to have been taken within a home setting.
“While this is certainly a global problem, the sad reality is that these crimes are also happening in homes across Canada,” said Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre. “Anytime we see a report of a child who has been sexually abused, there should be immediate consideration that the abuse has been recorded and shared online.”
“No one wants to see a child harmed, and Cybertip.ca provides a valuable link for police in combatting online sexual exploitation of children,” said ICE Insp. Dave Dubnyk.
In support of Cybertip.ca Awareness Day 2016, the Canadian Centre has launched a national campaign to raise awareness about the online sexual exploitation of children and to demonstrate how tips from Canadians can help protect children from sexual abuse.
The Canadian Centre is encouraging parents and adult members of the community to visit Cybertip.ca to view the campaign and to engage in the conversation on social using the hashtag #ctipday2016.
Since its inception in September 2002, Cybertip.ca has evolved as a central component of Canada’s national strategy to protect children from sexual exploitation on the Internet. Working closely with law enforcement across the country, the tipline has responded to 200,000+ child sexual exploitation reports from the public, resulting in at least 514 individuals being arrested, numerous children removed from abusive environments and the protection of countless children both within Canada and abroad.
Cybertip.ca also provides education and awareness material to help keep Canadians safe, distributing more than 12 million safety resources free-of-charge to schools, law enforcement, child welfare, industry and other stakeholders over the past 14 years.