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Statement: Survivors and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection implore Government of Canada to regulate internet

For Immediate Release

Winnipeg, Canada — Today, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s (C3P) Associate Executive Director Signy Arnason met with federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Justice and Attorney Generals from across Canada to discuss online sexual violence and table a letter from survivors calling for effective, protective internet regulation. Arnason’s presentation focused on the need for legislation that protects children online and supportive measures for victims.

Concerns related to the digital environment were also highlighted by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, after consulting with international stakeholders, experts, and over 700 children worldwide to produce General Comment No. 25 (2021) to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“The digital environment was not originally designed for children, yet it plays a significant role in children’s lives. States parties should ensure that, in all actions regarding the provision, regulation, design, management and use of the digital environment, the best interests of every child is a primary consideration.”
— General Comment No. 25 (2021) — III. B. Best interests of the child

“Canada’s obligations as a State party to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child need to be integrated into policy and legislative initiatives aimed at preventing online sexual violence and enhancing supports for children who have been victimized in the digital environment,” said Arnason.

This presentation follows C3P’s roundtable that brought together three federal ministers with Canadian survivors and their families whose lives have been irreparably changed because of online sexual violence. The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety of Canada; the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage of Canada; and the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada spoke with survivors and their families about their calls to regulate the internet to keep victims safe from online harm.

“As survivors and family members who have experienced the trauma and devastation of online sexual violence, we implore the government to act now and protect Canada’s children.”
— Survivors and Family members impacted by Online Sexual Violence
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