Keeping children safe from online sexual exploitation

Keeping Children Safe from Online Sexual Exploitation

February 5, 2013


Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) Making Sure that Parents and Teachers Have Access to Important Resources on Safer Internet Day

Edmonton…Children and youth are increasingly living out a large proportion of their daily lives online — whether using technology to communicate with friends, seek entertainment, or learn and broaden their knowledge about the world around them.  However, just like the offline world, parents and teachers need to be fully aware of the risks children and youth may encounter while using the Internet.  This is why on February 5, International Safer Internet Day, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams’ (ALERT) Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) units are letting Albertans know about the comprehensive Internet safety resources and tools available through the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.  These tools are there to help parents (and teachers) make sense of the challenges with raising children and youth in an ever-changing technological world.

“Education is key in preventing online child exploitation,” says ICE S/Sgt. Greg Johnson. “ICE supports organizations that make online safety information accessible, and we continue to encourage kids, parents and teachers to get informed on this subject to help protect our children. ”

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, a national charitable organization dedicated to the personal safety of all children, will be launching new e-parenting safety sheets addressing issues and concerns parents may be facing right now with regard to their adolescent’s online safety. This includes valuable information on protecting youth from online luring, the growing issue of sexting, as well as how to talk to your child about healthy relationships and appropriate boundaries.

“We all have an important role to play in the online protection of children,” says Lianna McDonald, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Child Protection.  “We know that for parents and teachers it can be hard to even know where to begin — and this is why, in partnership with ALERT’s ICE teams, we want to make sure that Canadians are aware of the important educational resources we have to offer to better protect children.”

 

Recognizing that educators also play a critical role when it comes to teaching children important personal safety strategies that will help reduce online victimization, the Canadian Centre will also be distributing over a million Internet safety materials to schools across Canada free-of-charge. ICE also encourages parents and teachers alike to visit The Door That’s Not Locked website (www.thedoorthatsnotlocked.ca), a comprehensive resource with age-specific Internet safety information. This includes material about the online activities that are popular with children of different age groups, the potential risks children face when using certain technologies and safety strategies to address those concerns. 

 

About the Canadian Centre for Child Protection: The goal of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (www.protectchildren.ca) is to reduce child victimization by providing programs and services to the Canadian public. Its four national programs include Cybertip.ca (www.cybertip.ca), Canada’s tipline to report the online sexual exploitation of children; MissingKids.ca (www.missingkids.ca), a national missing children resource and response centre; Kids in the Know (www.kidsintheknow.ca), an interactive child personal safety program for children in Kindergarten to Grade 9; and Commit to Kids (www.commit2kids.ca), a program to help child-serving organizations create safer environments for the children in their care and reduce their risk of sexual abuse.

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For more information please contact:
S/Sgt. Greg Johnson
Southern Internet Child Exploitation Unit
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
403-428-4901

Sgt. Mike Lokken
Northern Internet Child Exploitation Unit
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
780-509-3362

Carolyn Shimmin-Bazak
Manager of Communications and Research
Canadian Centre for Child Protection
Office: (204) 945-8074   Cell: (204) 801-6838
Email: carolyn@protectchildren.ca

Jill Baird
Communications
Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT)
780-509-3028

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.