February 22, 2008 10:59 ET

Canada Helps Combat Online Child Exploitation in Developing Countries

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 22, 2008) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced that Canada will support the Child Protection Partnership (CPP), to help combat and reduce online child exploitation in developing countries through the use of the Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS) software.

"The Government of Canada is strongly committed to the protection of children both at home and abroad," Minister Oda said. "In today's world of the internet, combating worldwide sexual exploitation of children requires access to the best technology available. Today's announcement will provide this technology to developing countries to help protect some of the world's most vulnerable children."

Minister Oda was joined by key partners in the initiative, including the International Institute for Child Rights and Development, Microsoft, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and UNICEF.

The Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS), a software solution to help combat online child abuse, was developed in 2003 through an initiative by Microsoft and the Toronto Police, and has been extremely effective in Canada. CETS has since been successfully deployed across Canada and the United Kingdom and it is now ready to be deployed in developing countries.

Through technology and the training provided by the CPP, law enforcement and supporting services in developing countries will become more effective and efficient in combating and reducing online child exploitation. The CPP will enable greater information sharing and the provision of services for affected children, as well as an increase in the number of investigations and prosecutions.

This $2.6 million in funding renews the commitment made at last year's G8 Declaration on Reinforcing the International Fight against Child Pornography, and puts Canada in a leadership role in delivering on this commitment.



Canada's $2.6 million to support the Child Protection Partnership (CPP) will help reduce child exploitation, by extending into developing countries the Child Exploitation Tracking System (CETS), a software solution to help combat online child abuse. The CPP will improve opportunities for children, their communities, and other vulnerable populations to be protected by the criminal justice system. The CPP will also improve access for affected children to services that will help them reintegrate safely back into their communities.

The four organizations partnering with CIDA on this initiative will provide essential oversight and direction in their areas of expertise:

International Institute for Child Rights and Development helps partners assess the systems in place to support children at risk. They provide culturally grounded child and human rights education and training, to many communities and audiences worldwide. The organization has an extensive international network of child rights specialists, which includes non-governmental organizations, professionals, and researchers to ensure efficient implementation.

Microsoft has already invested over $9 million dollars into the CETS program and will continue to fund the assessment phase for countries, donate the server software, and provide the CETS application at no cost. Microsoft will also contribute to, and monitor, the performance of CPP through CETS training and deployment.

UNICEF will provide expertise on child protection and rights to organizations and institutions, in participating countries. Its extensive network and country level support to governments will assist in strengthening the sustainability of this initiative.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police has considerable experience using CETS through its National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre. The Centre will help ensure that CETS is implemented successfully and will act as the senior advisor on CETS training and delivery for law enforcement agencies.

Partners of this innovative approach to today's challenges are taking a leadership role in demonstrating the advantage of leveraging partnership for effective and results based projects.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Joanna Bailey
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office