DoJ declares all-out war vs child sex predators

OSAEC and CSEM were among the topics tackled during the recently concluded Safer Internet Day Philippines this week.
DoJ declares all-out war vs child sex predators

Filipino parents exploiting their children for money as sex objects, mostly for foreigners, are being relentlessly prosecuted by the government, the Department of Justice has said.

DoJ Undersecretary Nicholas Ty revealed that the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, or IACAT, is closely monitoring the commission of Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children, as well as the trade in Child Sexual Exploitation Materials.

OSAEC and CSEM were among the topics tackled during the recently concluded Safer Internet Day Philippines this week, during which Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla commended the actions taken by the National Coordination Center against OSAEC and CSEM.

“Your dedication and unwavering commitment to this noble cause truly deserve our deepest appreciation,” Remulla said as he renewed the DoJ’s commitment to going after “cyber predators” and protecting Filipinos in the digital sphere.

According to the pioneering Scale of Harm prevalence study by the International Justice Mission and the University of Nottingham, nearly half a million Filipino children, or one in every 100 children, had been trafficked in 2022 to produce CSEM for profit.

The study measured the prevalence of the production of CSEM, especially live-streamed child sexual abuse for pay. CSEM sometimes involves a local trafficker sexually abusing a Filipino child while foreign offenders watch the abuse via video call as it happens.

The IJM said that as of August 2023, authorities have rescued 1,181 victims and at-risk persons and apprehended 359 suspected perpetrators, 202 of whom had been convicted.

“The DoJ, along with our partners, will always take as the supreme consideration our children’s safety, especially within the bounds of cyberspace,” Remulla said.

“I reiterate our commitment to an ‘All Out War’ against cyber predators. We are watching your every move,” he warned cyber sex predators, both local and foreign.

Presidential Proclamation 417, series of 2018, declared the second Tuesday of February of every year as “Safer Internet Day for Children Philippines.”

The day serves to remind people that children are being exploited physically and mentally, with technology bringing the abuses to cyber space.

Ty warned parents to think twice and not to allow their children to be victimized by sexual predators because they will be punished.

“I repeat, to the parents who are thinking of letting their children be victimized by sexual exploiters not to venture to this because they might end up in jail just like the others whom we have prosecuted,” Ty said.

The DoJ said it plans to closely coordinate with law enforcement authorities from other countries because online sexual abuse is a cross-border crime.

“So, let’s encourage our children to be safe users of the internet by being more aware of the dangers out there,” Ty said.

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