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article imageCanada joining alliance to fight child sex abuse only 'symbolic'

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 22, 2013 in Politics
Just days after Canada became a member of the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online, it was revealed that membership in the organization does not require the country to do anything.
The government of Canada announced its membership in the Global Alliance on Monday. Since then, The Canadian Press announced it has received a copy of a briefing note made in February after filing a request under the Access to Information Act. The note, prepared for Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, described Canada's membership in the organization as "symbolic" and "non-binding."
The briefing note said, "Membership in the Global Alliance will not require onerous reporting or resources. Indeed membership is symbolic and there will be no obligation placed on Canada or other member states."
The announcement of Canada's joining the Global Alliance was made by Nicholson in Toronto on June 17. The Minister said, "Child sexual exploitation is a horrific crime. Canada continues to lead, support and implement numerous initiatives domestically and abroad, to prevent and combat the sexual exploitation of children, but no country can fight this crime alone."
Nicholson added that "Canada looks forward to working with the Global Alliance to achieve our common goals."
The creation of the Global Alliance was announced in Brussels in December. The announcement was made jointly by Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Ministers and other officials from 27 EU states and 21 other countries were present.
The purpose of the Global Alliance is to identify and help victims, prosecute offenders and reduce the amount of online child pornography. Its mission is also to help raise public awareness of the problem, especially regarding grooming methods employed by pedophiles.
The Global Alliance hopes all member countries will set up specialized police units to fight the sexual exploitation of children and increase cooperation between states to combat this crime.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, about 50,000 new child abuse images are put online every year.
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