A new report from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection is revealing a disturbing trend that shows a sharp rise in the number of reported violations involving child sexual abuse.
From child pornography to online luring, the centre said it is dealing with more calls about these types of incidents.
“The Canadian Centre for child protection has seen a significant increase in the online sexual exploitation of children being reported to us,” said Stephen Sauer, director of Cybertip.ca, in an interview on Tuesday.
Now, the non-profit is speaking out after new Statistics Canada data confirmed the trend.
The numbers show sexual interference incidents were up 18 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020 — a 38 per cent increase in incidents compared to the previous five year average.
Accessing and possession of child pornography also rose in 2021 by 21 per cent — marking a 74 per cent increase in incidents compared to the previous five-year average.
Incidents where a child was lured using a computer also saw a five per cent uptick.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection said there are likely many more unreported victims not reflected in the numbers.
“Because these are only the ones where an individual has made that significant step in going out to police and seeking help and support,” Sauer said.
“We know a lot of individuals managing these situations are dealing with it on their own.”
The centre is calling on tech companies to create more safeguards to ensure adults don’t have access to children.
It’s is also calling on the federal government to create some industry regulations.
“For example, ensuring that there are accountability measures in place for what tech companies will include in their platforms and what kinds of settings they need to put for youth and children,” Sauer explained.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection said parents should learn more about the platforms their children are engaging with; have daily conversations with their kids about what they’re are doing online; and let children know that if something goes wrong, you’re there to help them no matter how far it’s gone.