Child advocates laud passage of anti-online sexual abuse law

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2022 04:10 PM

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MANILA — Child advocates have lauded the recent enactment of Republic Act 11930 or Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children, which lapsed into law on July 30.

According to SaferKidsPH consortium, the new law will strengthen the country's response to addressing the rising vulnerability and victimization of Filipino children by online predators.

"The passage of Republic Act 11930 positions the Philippines as one of the first countries in East Asia and the Pacific region to have an institutionalized and collaborative approach to prevention and response against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children," the consortium said in a statement.

"This law strengthens the protection measures to match the technological and digital advancements since the passage of the Anti-Child Pornography Act in 2009," it added.

The consortium is composed of Unicef, The Asia Foundation, and Save the Children Philippines, in partnership with the Australian Embassy.

April Correa, project coordinator of the SaferKidsPH program, noted there was an increase of cyber tips regarding anti-child sexual abuse or exploitation materials during the pandemic.

"There's an increase because online sexual abuse and exploitation of children is usually seen by the perpetrators and facilitators as a means to earn easy and fast money," she told ANC Monday.

According to the Department of Justice - Office of Cybercrime, cyber tip reports of CSAEM ballooned to 2.1 million in 2021 from 400,000 in 2019.

Correa said the new law is significant because it will create the National Coordinating Center against OSAEC and CSAEM through the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking.

The law was also developed in collaboration with the private sector such as internet service providers and telecommunications companies to ensure there is viable infrastructure and available technological capacity to prevent, detect, and block off CSAEM found online, she added.

"The law specifically includes provisions about how children are abused and exploited through the use of information and communication technology," Correa said.

"Due to the ever-evolving technology, perpetrators and facilitators are also very quick to work around the system such that new forms or types of exploitation have emerged," she added.