As Online Child Abuse Increases, Calls for New Legislation Continues to Grow

Last week an expert panel was appointed to help the Canadian government draft a new online safety bill. Among those appointed was Lianna McDonald, the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. McDonald, an expert on child protection online, is sure to press the government to deal with online child abuse in the bill.

McDonald has previously stated that there is a growing need for tech companies to quickly remove indecent images of children. has stated that they have seen a 37% increase in online victimization reports, with the average age of victims being only 14 years old. 

The United Kingdom has recently passed legislation regulating online harm, which McDonald had a part in advising. Canadian officials have also been studying the bill, suggesting similar legislation will soon pass in Canada.

The U.K. bill imposes a duty of care upon tech companies to remove images of child abuse or face repercussions. Tech companies traditionally hire content moderators to consistently scan content flagged as inappropriate. However, imposing an active duty may lead to further preventative measures by these firms, rather than these reactive ones.

The Canadian Centre of Child Protection also has programs in place to prevent indecent images from circling online. Their program, Project Arachnid scans the internet for these images and then notifies the requisite tech company. To date, this project has led to the removal of 6 million pieces of indecent content. You can learn more about the Canadian Centre of Child Protection and its initiatives here.

Originally reported in

If you or anyone you know has been the victim of sexual and/or physical abuse and is searching for legal rights and remedies, Slater Vecchio LLP is here to help. Please contact us for a free, private, confidential meeting.

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James Richards
As a member of our class action practice group, I act for survivors harmed by institutional abuses in both class action and individual civil sexual assault claims. I believe that every harmed person deserves to be heard and advocated for.