Monday, February 4, 2019

Police overwhelmed by rampant, ‘hidden evil’ of child exploitation online

abuse bullying child prostitution crime education internet police rape sex trafficking exploitation pedophilia pornography
Carol Todd holds a photograph of her late daughter Amanda Todd, signed by U.S.
singer Demi Lovato with the words "Stay Strong," in Port Coquitlam, B.C., in
2013. Her 15-year-old daughter took her own life in 2012 after repeated bullying.
VANCOUVER—Over nine days in the summer of 2018, a joint sting operation between Vancouver police and RCMP arrested 47 men seeking teenage girls online for sex. Among them: a teacher, a firefighter, a school trustee.

In Ontario, provincial police laid a bevy of online child-exploitation charges against 122 people in November alone. Among those arrested: members of the military, engineers, emergency personnel and former and current teachers.

In Alberta, police arrested 13 people including a football coach between February and October 2018 for trying to arrange sex with children. All the alleged offences took place through social media platforms and online communication tools.

In all three operations, police used undercover techniques to catch would-be sex offenders. But behind the headlines these stings generate, the problem of child exploitation is far more pervasive than the public will ever know.

The trafficking in images and videos that show the sexual abuse of children — some of them in real time — has accelerated as new online platforms connect predators directly to young, would-be victims, outstripping police resources to track them down and investigate them.

In fact, the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre received an estimated 55,000 online child sex exploitation reports in 2018, up from 9,371 in 2013 — bulked up in part due to earlier legislative changes requiring internet service providers to report child pornography.  (more...)


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