Philippines is a hotspot for online sexual abuse of children

Photo: Rappler

A study conducted by UNICEF from 2022 revealed that 20 percent of Filipino children aged 12-17 fall victim to sexual abuse online.

Luckily, several authorities in the Philippines are taking lots of action to combat this issue.

Recently, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte responded to this growing threat by convening with both the Mission Alliance Philippines (MAP), the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (CPTCSA), the Philippine Children’s Ministries Network (PCMN), Plan International Pilipinas – and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila to consolidate Anti-OSAEC (online sexual abuse and exploitation of children) efforts.

“We need to talk about this – loudly”

The Anti-OSAEC initiative seeks solutions to the problem through collaborative projects between international organizations, government agencies, non-governmental bodies, and more.

At the summoning, Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines, Christian Lyster, revealed that unfortunately, the Philippines is ‘one of the hotspots’ for OSAEC. He mentioned that investigation and prosecution may not be enough – awareness must be implemented too.

“We must create awareness on this challenging problem to prevent victims from being abused. I hope that this conference will contribute to discussions on keeping children safe,” he said.

Let’s cooperate with the youth
Furthermore, mayor Belmonte shared that 10 percent of budget will be allocated to Anti-OSAEC programs. In addition, she will train the new Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials – who are representatives of the youth – to help combat the issue and implement effective campaigns and programs.

She affirmed that the SK are ‘closer to the ground’ due to their ages. Hence, will they have a better grasp of what problems are more pervasive than others.

“The SK have so much power to combat OSAEC.”

Source: Phil Star (opinion piece)

About Sofie Rønnelund

Sofie Roennelund is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Sofie Rønnelund

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