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Federal ministers meet with victims and families of online sexual violence to discuss need for regulatory change

For Immediate Release

Winnipeg, Canada — Today, survivors and families whose lives have been irreparably changed because of online sexual violence met with the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, and the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. During the virtual roundtable, hosted by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P), victims shared their stories and implored the government to regulate the internet to keep Canadian children and survivors safe from online harm.

Over the past six months, C3P’s, Canada’s tipline to report the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, which last week marked its 20th anniversary, has seen a 39 per cent overall increase in online child victimization. Offenders have intensified their control tactics, which includes increasing the use of humiliation, and utilizing multiple accounts to target youth.

Survivors and families spoke about the impact of their victimization and how technology played a critical role. Their difficult stories include child sexual abuse material, sextortion, online grooming and luring, doxing, and stalking. While these crimes were facilitated online, the day‑to‑day impacts to the victims and families are immeasurable. Each underscored the urgency for online regulation, which they hope will protect children and prevent future victimization.

The discussions centred on the critical need for the Government of Canada to introduce a regulatory framework to ensure the same safeguards children have in the offline world are available in digital spaces. There is also a need to hold technology companies accountable for the products and services they put online.


“This is not an issue to be ignored. The children dealing with this today are the future, and we will have far less of a future if everyone ends up traumatized because we did not do our duty to stop this. It is possible to radically transform our world. It is possible to keep children and teens safe. It is our duty to tell you what we need, and it is your duty to get it done.”
— Survivor of non‑consensual distribution of intimate images
“We have lost too many children and too many families have been devastated by the violence that occurs online. Their lives have been in the hands of tech companies for long enough. We must ensure that the protections that keep children safe in the offline world also exist in the digital one. We welcome further discussions with the Ministers to prioritize the online protection of children.”
— Lianna McDonald, Executive Director for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection
“For over 20 years, has been an invaluable tool in our fight against sexual exploitation and I am honored to have met with some of the brave survivors and their families today. It truly requires a great deal of courage to have shared your experiences. Online sexual exploitation and abuse of children is appalling and has no place in our society. Combatting these heinous crimes requires urgent action across all levels of government, law enforcement partners, civil society, and the technology industry. Together, we can and must do more to keep our kids safe from online dangers.”
— The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety
“I sincerely want to thank the participants who shared their experiences during this important roundtable. Behind every survivor is a story and a family. It is essential that we hear their stories as we move forward to make the internet safer for all Canadians. This kind of abuse and exploitation has no place in our society. Platforms must live up to their commitment to protect our children online. We have a duty to work to ensure that stories like the ones we've heard today never happen again. We owe it to these families and to future generations of Canadians.”
— The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage
“Keeping children safe requires action from all levels of government. Child sexual exploitation and abuse are heinous crimes that cause victims to suffer devastating and long-lasting consequences. We are committed to protecting the safety and security of children and survivors and advancing solutions to keep children safe from harmful online content. I am pleased to continue supporting the Canadian Centre for Child Protection in their efforts to address this important issue.”
— The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Fast Facts:

  • In the last six months, saw a 56 per cent increase in incidents of sextortion, and a 43 per cent increase in incidents of online luring.
  • Project Arachnid, C3P’s global tool for disrupting the distribution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM), has led to the removal of seven million pieces of CSAM.
  • From 2020‑21, Project Arachnid sent just over 2.2 million takedown notices. In 2021‑22, it climbed to more than six million‑roughly a 177 per cent increase.
Media relations contact:
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About the Canadian Centre for Child Protection: The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (C3P) is a national charity dedicated to the personal safety of all children. The organization’s goal is to reduce the sexual abuse and exploitation of children through programs, services, and resources for Canadian families, educators, child‑serving organizations, law enforcement, and other parties. C3P also operates, Canada’s national tipline to report child sexual abuse and exploitation on the internet, and Project Arachnid, a web platform designed to detect known images of CSAM on the clear and dark web and issue removal notices to industry.

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