An alliance of child rights groups in the Philippines has welcomed the recent approval of senate on the second reading of a bill which intends to address Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC).
“We would like to extend our appreciation to our honorable senators for giving utmost importance to a measure that intends to address the horrible plight of children victimized by online sexual abuse and exploitation. It gives us a glimpse of hope for all the children and families trapped in the vicious cycle of the poverty-driven online sex trade,” said Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns Secretary General Eule Rico Bonganay.
According to Bonganay, one of the alarming impacts of the pandemic and the economic crisis is the rise in number of cases of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
“Even before the pandemic hit the Philippines, the country has already been identified as the global source of child sexual abuse materials. Hence, the current situation has made our children from marginalized communities more vulnerable to this obnoxious and illicit trade where even their parents and closest relatives have become instruments in the commission of the crime,” Bonganay emphasized.
“Evidently, we need a law that will not only define online sexual abuse and exploitation of children but will also strengthen law enforcement and give responsibilities to internet intermediaries in creating safer digital environment for children. Once passed, the government must fully implement it and such effort must be combined with stronger preventive measures as well as rehabilitative programs to support the children victims and their families,” Bonganay opined.
Salinlahi also lauded the valuable contributions of other child rights groups under the banner of the Child Rights Network (CRN) Philippines for tirelessly pushing for the passage of the bill.
“We are calling on the general public especially the staunch advocates of children’s rights to join us in amplifying the call for an end to all forms of abuse, violence and exploitation of children. We should step up our efforts in demanding the government to address the problems haunting the Filipino children during this time of pandemic,” Bonganay ended.
Reference: Eule Rico Bonganay, Secretary General, Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns