06/19/2013 10:00 EDT | Updated 08/19/2013 05:12 EDT

Status of Women conference aims to stop web exploitation

Canada's ministers responsible for the Status of Women ended a two-day conference Wednesday in northern P.E.I. expressing concerns about internet luring, cyber bullying and child sexual exploitation.

Valerie Docherty, P.E.I.’s minister responsible for the Status of Women, hosted the meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers.

The conference looked at ways to promote women's leadership and end violence against women and girls.

They also heard from two RCMP experts on child exploitation on the internet, as well as cyberbullying and cyberstalking.

“This is a very important issue across Canada, one of those things that we wish we didn’t have to talk about but unfortunately we do,” said Docherty.

Susan Truppe, federal parliamentary secretary for the Status of Women, said a big concern for her is child pornography.

“It was amazing the number of IP addresses out there that are being looked at for child pornography and [authorities] are doing a great job looking into this,” she said.

Docherty said P.E.I. and other provinces need tougher laws to find and charge perpetrators of child exploitation.

“In the United States, it is mandatory that the internet service providers notify the law enforcement agencies of something suspicious — that’s not mandatory here, so that is definitely one of the things we need to work on with our ministers of justice,” she said.

Web giant Google recently pledged to rid the web of child pronography by sharing data, resources and technical expertise across international borders.

Google is pledging $2 million to its new Child Protection Technology Fund in an effort to develop these tools further, while additional support will go toward the protection of children around the world.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the U.S. received 17.3 million suspect images through their cyber tip line in 2011 alone, with more than half of them coming from countries outside of the U.S., such as Canada.