Child Pornographers Can Now Face Financial Consequences
Ontario is making it easier for victims of child pornography to sue offenders who have been convicted of making, distributing, possessing or accessing child pornography for damages such as emotional distress and bodily harm arising from the distress.
The change to a regulation under the Victims' Bill of Rights allows victims to seek financial compensation directly from an offender. If victims are under the age of 18, a litigation guardian can initiate a lawsuit for them. This law will serve as a further deterrent to offenders as any lawsuit would be in addition to penalties imposed by the court.
The amendment responds to recommendations made in the 2007 report of the University of Toronto's Centre for Innovation Law and Policy, "Staying Safely Connected: Updated Strategies for Protecting Children and Youth From Exploitation Online".
The McGuinty government is using all the tools at its disposal to help keep kids safe online.
OTHER GOVERNMENT ACTION TO FIGHT CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
Ontario has taken a number of other steps to combat child pornography, including:
· Created the Attorney General's Task Force on Internet Crimes Against Kids to work with Internet service providers to improve cooperation between service providers, law enforcement agencies, and Crown prosecutors
· Invested $7.6 million in a provincial strategy to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation, including child pornography and Internet luring
· Provided $1 million in additional funding, for a total of $2.4 million, for the OPP's "Project P" child pornography unit, and $700,000 to the Toronto Police to monitor sex offenders in the community through the provincial sex offender registry
· Provided $500,000 to the Kids' Internet Safety Alliance (KINSA), a group dedicated to eliminating the online sexual exploitation of children
· Created the Internet Child Exploitation Counselling Program to provide short-term, immediate counselling for child victims of Internet sexual exploitation.