Madam Chair, I would like to thank the member for her unrelenting advocacy on behalf of the most vulnerable people in our population, including, of course, women and girls.
The issue that she raises of the sexual exploitation of children in particular is the most heinous of crimes. It can leave survivors with long-lasting and lifelong consequences. We know that many people during the pandemic have become increasingly vulnerable, and as the member has indicated, the RCMP is seeing, as we are internationally, an increase in online exploitation during the period of isolation imposed by COVID-19.
I want to assure the members in the House that we are making significant investments in prevention by raising awareness of this serious issue and working to reduce the stigma associated with reporting. At the same, we are providing the necessary resources to police to enhance the capacity of the Internet child exploitation units and inform the work of prosecutors to bring these heinous criminals to justice.
We have also joined with our Five Eyes partners in the adoption of voluntary principles, bringing in international co-operation to deal with child exploitation. We are funding the National Human Trafficking Hotline, currently accessible by phone, text or email 24/7, to connect survivors of human trafficking to the services and programs they need.
There is more that we need to do, and we will be addressing this in the coming weeks through the development of a national strategy to deal with violence against women and girls.