A new federal report has released that online child sexual offences have been on the rise in the last couple of years, with the COVID pandemic playing a role. The report, produced by the Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics, analyzed data from 2014 to 2020. They found that during this time period, there were a total of 10,739 incidents of online sexual offences against children, and 29,028 incidents of online child pornography.
Even more worrying is the upward trend in these cases. Back in 2014, the rate of police report incidents of online child sexual exploitation was 50 incidents per 100,000. In 2020, the rate has risen to 131 per 100,000. The report also looked at regional differences in the offences and found that child luring was most common in Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia.
Signy Arnason, an Associate Executive Director at the Canadian Centre for Children Protection says that the numbers are likely going to continue to rise, due to the lack of specific rules and regulations for online interactions. She further stated that more individuals increasing their time spent online, meaning that proactive measures are needed to curb the trend. Arnason believes that a strict and modern regulatory framework is needed to combat this issue.
The full report can be found at Statistics Canada website.