MAY 2017

 

GUEST EDITORIAL



..."Crucial agreement on child abuse and human trafficking"

...(continued from index page)

 

The hugely lucrative child porn trade in the Philippines is intended almost entirely for foreign pedophiles. “There is no interest in [viewing] child pornography in our culture,” Senior Supt. Gilbert Sosa, director of the Philippine National Police’s anticybercrime unit, said last January. “So it is mostly production [of child porn videos that is being done here].”

Cybersex dens operate in various parts of the country, with some families coercing their own kin to perform lewd acts for profit. The internet provides anonymity and protection from conventional attempts at enforcing such laws as Republic Act No. 9995 (the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009), RA 7610 (the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse , Exploitation and Discrimination Act), and RA 9208 (the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003). The PNP and NBI have been shutting down one such operation after another, only for new ones to spring up. The government’s push against online child abuse and trafficking cannot but continue.

Filipino children are increasingly at risk. Last July, the Department of Social Welfare and Development reported that child abuse in the country was on the rise. The number of cases of child abuse reported in the first quarter of 2016 (2,147) was almost half of that reported in the entirety of 2015 (4,374). Most of the cases involved sexual abuse (539).

According to Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo, the DSWD would intensify its efforts to stop child abuse through “information dissemination … and implementation of psychosocial interventions geared toward the recovery, healing and reintegration of victims-survivors.”

“We want to promote a society where the rights of Filipino children are respected and protected. We cannot do this alone without the help of citizens who are concerned for our children’s welfare,” Taguiwalo said in a statement.

Indeed. One country cannot go it alone. This is why the renewed commitment and crucial collaboration of the Philippines and the United States in battling online sex crimes involving children acquire the utmost urgency. The evil of child abuse and trafficking cannot be overemphasized.
(Philippine Daily Inquirer / April 16, 2017)

 

 

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