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Manitoba Implements Mandatory Child Porn Reporting Law

 

April 17, 2009 | Daniel Kanis

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, April 16, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Manitoba government passed legislation on Tuesday making it mandatory for its citizens to report child pornography. The amendment to the Child and Family Services Act now includes child pornography in the existing definition of child abuse, and makes Manitoba the first province in Canada to legally require anyone who suspects a child is being sexually abused, whether evidence is found online, in books, photographs or other audio and visual material, to report it to the authorities.

Family Services Minister Gord Mackintosh said yesterday that child sexual exploitation is the most under-reported form of child abuse and the change to the legislation will help ensure that the law catches up with technology.

“Child exploitation is already the most under-reported form of child abuse and a serious problem that has to be addressed,” Mackintosh said. “This problem is even compounded by the huge growth in child pornography.

“We have to increase reporting and we have to make sure the law catches up to technology. This law tells us clearly that child pornography is child abuse,” Mackintosh explained. “This law enlists and deputizes all of us to report child pornography.”

“Child pornography is not just dirty pictures – it’s not so-called adult entertainment – it is child rape [and] molestation,” Mackintosh said in a CBC report. “Every time someone downloads photos or passes on child pornography, they are perpetuating sexual assault, molestation and rape. It’s a crime against humanity. Child pornography is a crime scene.”

Manitoba Family Services has launched a media campaign to advise citizens of their duty to report by reminding them that “child pornography doesn’t report itself” and “child pornography is child abuse.”

Lianna McDonald, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, said the new legislation will protect children and send a message to those who use child porn.

“The first step in creating these images begins with the sexual abuse of children in homes and bedrooms within our own communities. We’re not talking about children posing in provocative ways. We’re talking about the rape and sexual assault of these children,” McDonald said.

“We are confident that this new mandatory reporting law will help reduce the growing number of child victims and the number of images being uploaded to the internet.”

Child pornography can be reported online at Cybertip.ca, which is operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, or by calling the Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-658-9022. Tips are passed on to RCMP who will notify authorities in other countries if needed.

Parents are encouraged to visit the Canadian Center’s websites, http://www.protectchildren.ca and http://www.cybertip.ca, for information on the risks posed to their children and for valuable safety strategies they can use to keep their children safe.

Ontario and Nova Scotia are working on similar legislation, with Ontario having enacted an amendment to the Ontario Child and Family Services Act, which revised the act’s definition of child porn to parallel that of the Criminal Code of Canada, and which will be brought into force by regulations outlined by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

See previous LSN coverage:

Ontario Law Makes Reporting Child Porn Mandatory
http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09030204.html

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