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Some examples of how technology has been utilized to change the way child sexual exploitation occurs include chat rooms and bulletin boards, cellular/mobile phones, and web cameras.

There are also various mediums of computer related communication that can operate as vehicles that facilitate Internet based child sexual exploitation.

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The Internet also plays a key role in the sexualization and eroticization of children and youth in Canada and internationally: the increase in the level and probability of exposure to sexually explicit material by children and youth; youth-to-youth victimization - youth accessing child sexual abuse images of similar-aged youth; and, youth who pose for photos/web cams, often referred to as self-exploitation.

The way in which law enforcement and the legislation process deal with these cases is very important - from both a victim and offender perspective.

This is not the case in many other countries which can introduce challenges as officers from different countries work together on cases.

Many people do not realize that as technology continues to improve, it will become increasingly more difficult to differentiate between a real and virtual image (Burrows et al.

Recent advances in technology have had many impacts on Canadians, and on child and youth exploitation.

Current data from Statistics Canada indicate that 64% of Canadian households accessed the Internet from home, work, school, a public library or other location in 2003.Many law enforcement officers use categories of child sexual abuse images to assist in determining the severity of an Internet based offence. Through chat rooms, websites, peer to peer file transfers and other mediums, child sexual abuse images are traded, sold, and/or purchased.Stanley (2001) cites research that claims that there are approximately 14 million pornographic websites with some posting approximately one million child abuse images, and that between 23,000-40,000 sites advertised chat rooms that defend child-adult sexual relationships.The scan is intended to provide insight into key areas that will inform and suggest future ways to combat child pornography as Canadian law enforcement continue to dismantle this industry.Technology is an integral and everlasting component of the Canadian landscape.Children and youth are also abused through child sexual abuse images.

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