Church, State vs online exploitation

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Catholic and Protestant churches in the Philippines are joining forces with government in fighting all forms of violence against children, specifically online sexual exploitation.

Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People head Bishop Ruperto Santos noted that the religious sector needs to partner with various groups and more prosecutors to counter online sexual exploitation of children.

The prelate also expressed concern over children being exploited online by their own parents or relatives.

Records from the Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking showed 72 percent of perpetrators during rescue operations were parents or relatives of the victims.
“We are worried that without jobs and livelihood opportunities, more people will resort to doing something negative,” Bishop Santos said.

According to the International Justice Mission, the number of rescue and arrest operations related to the cybersex trade in the Philippines went up from 17 in 2015 to 51 in the first nine months of 2018.

“Girls and boys are forced to perform sex acts on themselves or with each other, are molested by an adult, or are abused in other degrading ways,” said Sam Inocencio, national director of the organization.

On 08 November, an ecumenical summit to protect children from online sexual exploitation organized by the interfaith group was held.

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