According to a UNICEF official, while the internet has provided new educational opportunities for children during the pandemic, it has also become a venue for threats and sexual abuse against children.
Unicef’s Philippine representative, Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, stressed in a statement that it is vital that we continue our efforts to protect our children on digital platforms.
She also underlined the significance of aiding the government in preventing child sexual abuse online by “taking a whole-of-government approach.”
According to the DOJ, until 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has received more than 2.8 million tips about internet child sexual exploitation. This is more than double the 1.3 million people counted the year before.
The Office of Cybercrime of the Department of Justice opened formal investigations in 268 cases, up from 73 in 2020.
The Philippines has been named the “global epicenter of the Livestream sexual abuse trade” by UNICEF.
SaferKidsPH is a program that aims to make children’s lives safer.
Unicef launched the SaferKidsPH campaign to help ensure that young people are protected on digital platforms. SaferKidsPH is an Australian government initiative focused on preventing online child sexual exploitation and abuse.
A month-long series of activities will be held in connection with Safer Internet Day on February 8 to address online sexual abuse and child protection online. The activities will include a discussion with internet service providers and a webinar.
According to the National Study on Online Sexual Abuse and Child Exploitation in the Philippines, poverty is the primary reason children and families engage in these behaviors.
In exchange for sexual photographs or recordings, the perpetrators, usually, foreign nationals, promise older children school or money.
Families, parents, or relatives then assist in the abuse by forcing children to strip or engage in sexual activities in front of the camera.