De Lima seeks probe into rising cases of child cybersex abuses
Opposition Senator Leila de Lima has sought an investigation into the increasing number of cases of child cybersex abuses in the country as the international community observes on Tuesday the World Children’s Day and the anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which the Philippines is a signatory.
In filing Senate Resolution No. (SRN) 945, De Lima lamented the increase in the number of child cybersex abuses despite the existence of at least five laws designed to protect children from such abuses, exploitation, and violence in the country.
These laws are Republic Act (RA) 7610, also known as Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act; RA 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act; RA 9231 or the Anti-Child Labor Law; RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act; and RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.
The senator said the effective implementation of these existing laws against child abuse and exploitation should be investigated.
“Cybersex abuse is now terribly advancing and spreading to different platforms – from social media networks, dating sites and online chat rooms – thus, making the investigation and identification of sexual predators harder,” she said.
“The continuous increase of disturbing and disheartening cases of cyber child sex abuse only shows the utmost need for the government to review, assess and expand the implementation of the laws that are supposed to protect the Filipino youth and children,” she added.
The detained senator noted that the Philippines has “reportedly become a top global source of child pornography with around 80 percent of children at risk of online abuse or bullying.”
Citing the United Nations Children’s Fund, De Lima said the Philippines receives more than 3,000 reports of possible cybersex trafficking cases every month.
The International Justice Mission has also recorded an appalling increase in the number of rescue operations from 17 in 2015 to 51 in the first nine months of this year, she added.
“The pervasive problem of child abuse and sex trafficking is in the Philippines calls urgently for more vigilant, tougher and highest penalties to eradicate this growing industry of child exploitation through cyber pornography,” she said.
In May 2017, De Lima has also filed Senate Resolution No. 379, which seeks to investigate the increasing number of children being lured to “webcam child sex tourism” where they are paid to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam to paying foreigners. /jpv
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