For Immediate Release
February 8, 2010
WINNIPEG, MB - Canadian parents will receive a new tool to help keep their children safer on the Internet today with the national launch of The Door that's not Locked (www.thedoorthatsnotlocked.ca). This unique, one-stop-shop for Internet safety information will provide parents, teachers and anyone else interested in keeping kids safe online with the tools and resources they need to do so. The Door that's not Locked refers to safety concerns regarding the unlocked door of the Internet. In time for Safer Internet Day on February 9th 2010, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection has partnered with the Government of Canada to help families understand the good, bad, and ugly about the web.
"Safer Internet Day reminds us of the importance in combating on-line victimization, especially when it involves our children," said Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews. "The Government of Canada remains committed to the global fight against the sexual exploitation of children on the Internet. We will continue to work with our valued partners such as the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and support the work of the RCMP's National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, who is making valuable progress to target those who prey on children online."
In a recent survey conducted by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, 75% of parents were concerned about their children's online safety. 88% of parents said they had no particular website that they went to for Internet safety education. The survey identified that parents would like a credible, reliable, easy-to-navigate, age-specific website to find answers to their Internet safety questions.
"The Internet has become an indispensible part of our children's lives, so it's vital that adults take steps to ensure their kids are safe while online. While many parents are quick to lock the front door of their home, they allow their kids to experience the unsupervised, open door of the Internet," said Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. "Whether it is contact with people who have harmful intentions, or content that is inappropriate for children, the Internet can pose real risk to kids. The Door that's not Locked is designed to help open the door to parents, teachers and anyone else who is dedicated to helping keep kids safe online."
While the Canadian Centre will be releasing a new study on online luring later this year, to date, Cybertip.ca has forwarded 540 reports classified as luring to law enforcement. "Our luring reports reveal that offenders use a variety of tactics such as flattery, threats, persistence, and exposure to sexually explicit material to make children comply with their requests. Whether it is requesting inappropriate pictures, having sexual conversations, or attempting to meet in person, these individuals use whatever means necessary to have the child comply," added McDonald. "As persistent as these individuals are with children, parents have to be even more persistent in teaching their kids to understand the risks and how to be safe."
"As a partner under the National Strategy for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation on the Internet, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection is a leader in the development of awareness and educational products," said RCMP Sgt. Lana Prosper, with the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre. "The fight against child sexual exploitation is a priority for local, national, and international police agencies. Internet safety resources such as the one launched today are a key component in our ability to help keep our children safe."
The Door that's not Locked website was created based on the results of a nationwide parent survey and provides Canadians with the information they have been seeking. It provides Canadians with comprehensive information about what their kids are doing online, the risks associated with those activities and provides important tips and strategies to help keep their kids safe.
In addition to the new website, the Canadian Centre will distribute three million age-specific Safety and the Internet brochures to schools across Canada. McDonald extended her thanks to the Government of Canada as well as to Bell, Honeywell, Shaw and TELUS for their ongoing support, which plays a significant role in the Canadian Centre's ability to carry out important initiatives such as The Door that's not Locked.
Click here to view the PSA.
If you are a member of the media and would like to arrange an interview with one of our spokespeople please contact our communications team:
Communications, Canadian Centre for Child Protection
Safer Internet Day
Safer Internet Day takes place each year in February to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world. This year it will take place on February 9th.
Since the first year in 2004, participation in this event has been steadily growing, with an increase in general awareness, stronger involvement of relevant stakeholders in the field of internet safety and a high level of media interest. In 2009 more than 120 organizations in 56 countries took part in Safer Internet Day celebrations, organizing local, national and international events ranging from safety sessions in schools and competitions for young people to public meetings and conferences.