SaferKidsPH advocates for strengthened systematic efforts to end online sexual abuse and exploitation of children

04 May 2024
Child protection
UNICEF Philippines/2016/Jeff Maitem

MANILA, 4 MAY 2024 — The SaferKidsPH consortium said today it stands ready to seize the momentum and boost joint efforts in the Philippines to end online sexual abuse and exploitation of children including the production of child sexual abuse and exploitation materials. This statement comes after President Marcos Jr vehemently condemned recently in the “strongest terms” this egregious child right violation.

SaferKidsPH, an Australian Government initiative, is delivered through the pioneering consortium of Save the Children Philippines, The Asia Foundation and UNICEF to end the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the Philippines.

The consortium urges a more holistic approach that focuses on strengthening the child protection system to address the drivers of this problem, as well as establishing and strengthening coordinated multi-disciplinary services to help victims.

The consortium will support the  National Coordinating Center to operationalize Republic Act No. 11930. A key action this year is to develop the strategic plan that sets out concrete steps that promote a more holistic approach.   

Australian Ambassador H.E. HK Yu PSM, FCPA (Aust) said: “Online sexual abuse and exploitation of children has no place in our society. The Australian Government, through SaferKidsPH and its consortium members, will share findings and recommendations that will assist the anti-online sexual abuse or exploitation of children initiatives of relevant Philippine Government agencies. As a Strategic Partner, Australia remains committed to help the Philippine Government create a safe online and offline environment for children to prosper.”

Findings from the UNICEF supported Disrupting Harm Study reveal that 20 per cent of children in the Philippines aged 12 to 17 who use the internet have experienced online sexual abuse.

Consortium lead and UNICEF Representative to the Philippines, Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, said: "Children have the right to be protected from abuse and live in communities where they feel safe. To be effective, we need to foster a whole-of-government approach and strengthen the child protection system in responding to online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.”

“With this united front, we stand a stronger chance of ending online sexual abuse and exploitation of children," she said.

 


NOTES TO THE EDITOR:

SaferKidsPH. an Australian Government initiative, is delivered through the pioneering consortium of Save the Children Philippines, The Asia Foundation and UNICEF to reduce the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the Philippines. SaferKidsPH works with children and their families, the Philippine Government, civil society, and the private sector to ensure that children are safe and protected online. https://www.saferkidsph.org:

Republic Act No. 11930 or the “Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) and Anti-Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) Act” was enacted in July 2022. This legislation aims to protect children from all forms of sexual violence, abuse, and exploitation, particularly those committed using information and communications technology.

The National Coordinating Center was established in May 2023 through the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the above Act under the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking. This Center will be responsible for developing programmes to address online and offline violence against children. 

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Marge Francia
Advocacy & Communication Specialist
UNICEF Philippines
Tel: +63 917 858 9447
Lely Djuhari
Chief of Advocacy and Communication
UNICEF Philippines
Tel: +639175675622

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