CHR tells gov’t to step up efforts to prevent child sexual abuse
MANILA, Philippines — In commemoration of this year’s Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Week, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Monday prodded the government to increase efforts in supporting victims and preventing more cases of child sexual abuse.
“Child exploitation reflects a failure to protect the most vulnerable. The marginalized sector, now more than ever, needs the government’s utmost protection in unprecedented times like this,” the agency said in a statement.
CHR noted the need for “continued provision of psychosocial services, health, and financial aid to protect young individuals from being lured into online exploitation as means to provide for themselves and their families.”
This year’s observance comes at the wake of a pandemic that has led to worsening socio-economic factors, which according to the CHR, also led to an increase of child abuse and sexual exploitation.
“It is alarming that, in contrast to the economic slump the Philippine is currently experiencing, there has been an observable doubling of suspicious transactions involving child pornography,” CHR said.
CHR cited the Philippines’s Anti-Money Laundering Council’s study which revealed the increase in financial transactions linked to online sexual exploitation of children, reaching 27,217 transactions in January to June 2020 or 2.5 times more than the 10,627 reported in 2019.
The said report reinforces the findings of the Department of Justice which has noted a 264% increase of online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) amid the pandemic.
Further, the CHR expressed support for the passage of Senate Bill 735 or the Human Trafficking Preventive Education Program Act by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, which aims to orient Filipino children on their rights and vital protection measures against OSEC.
The “National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation,” also known as Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Week, is commemorated every second week of February. — Zac Sarao, Trainee
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