39 20th annual crime prevention guide witnesses; ensuring that supports are available regardless of the type of offence; and ensuring that children are not questioned in ways that are inappropriate to their age and development during cross-examination. Some of the Department's other areas of activity which impact on the issue of child abuse include: •The Supreme Court of Canada has recently upheld the Criminal Code of Canada's possession of child pornography provision. •A Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Group on Prostitution has been addressing the issue of youth involvement in prostitution through research and consultations in most jurisdictions. The Working Group's report on legislation, policy and practices concerning prostitution-related activities was released in December 1998. •The Department is actively involved in international efforts to prevent trafficking in children and child sexual exploitation. • The family law system and the federal Divorce Act are also important tools for addressing the issue of child abuse. The Department is consulting with Canadians to determine how the legal system can improve its response to family violence when parents are separating or divorcing, and what changes (if any) should be made to the federal Divorce Act to promote child-centred decision-making in situations of violence to ensure the safety of children and others. OTHER STRATEGIES TO PREVENT AND RESPOND TO CHILD ABUSE In addition to reforming the law and enhancing its implementation, the Department of Justice du Canada is involved in many other strategies to prevent and respond to child abuse. Education Education involves providing children with knowledge about their rights, and teaching them the skills to identify abuse, ask for help, and avoid being re-victimized. Further, parents and caregivers need information and support to help them care for children in a positive and nurturing manner. The Department supports public legal education programs across Canada that educate the public about family violence, including the prevention, identification and reporting of child abuse. Professional development and resources Many different groups of practitioners may have contact with children who are abused. Enhancing the awareness and skills of judges, Crown prosecutors, defence lawyers, police, health care workers, social workers, psychologists, and teachers about child abuse enables effective intervention. The Department works with its partners to support specialized training for justice system and law enforcement personnel in order to build a coordinated multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary response with other systems. Research, data collection and information sharing The Department is involved in a number of national-level research and data collection activities related to child abuse that will help to: • increase knowledge about child abuse and its impacts throughout different stages of life • improve information exchange between government agencies • increase the effectiveness of responses to child abuse, and • enhance services and supports for children. Support for program and service delivery Support and intervention for children and families who have experienced abuse, or who are at risk, are essential. Through project funding the Department of Justice Canada supports pilot projects to develop, test and assess models, strategies and tools to improve the criminal justice system's response to child abuse. Through the National Strategy on Crime Prevention and Community Safety, the Department supports communitybased prevention and intervention programs that address risk factors for child abuse. Child Abuse: A fact sheet from the Department of Justice Canada Department of Justice Canada Family Violence Initiative