Lockdowns sparked spike in online child exploitation - DILG chief | Inquirer News

Lockdowns sparked spike in online child exploitation – DILG chief

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 07:31 PM August 23, 2022

Members of PNP Women and Children Protection Center rescue four child victims of online sexual abuse and exploitation last Sept. 24, 2020. /PNP WCPC Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. blamed the online child sexual exploitation spike on the COVID-19 outbreak, especially during lockdowns that compelled people to stay home.

During a Palace briefing, Abalos said that law enforcement operations on sexual exploitation of children recorded in 2017 were 12; 34 in 2018; 48 in 2019; 62 in 2020; 57 in 2021; and 26 from January to July 2022.


Meanwhile, cases filed about child pornography were 12 in 2016, 14 in 2017; 16 in 2018; 13 in 2019; 21 in 2020; 20 in 2021, and seven from January to July of 2022.


“We just came from a pandemic. Remember, this kind of a crime is that you could just do it in a bedroom, in a room with a camera with no witnesses, just a child who’s very innocent,” Abalos said.

“It’s so easy to do it,” he added.

He also claimed that pandemic-caused unemployment may have led some to exploit children.

“During pandemic, talagang medyo maraming naghirap, maraming nawalan ng trabaho, we cannot tell kung ano talagang reason nila pero it could be one of the factors kung bakit tumaas ito,” the DILG chief said.

(During the pandemic, many fell into poverty and lost their jobs. We cannot tell their reason, but it could be one of the factors why the number increased.)

Abalos, however, assured that the government would “put a stop” to all exploitation of children.


“We’re going to show them that the government is really serious about stopping them. Talagang nagkakaisa lahat,” he said.

(Everybody is chipping in the effort.)

Of the 62 child sexual exploitation incidents in 2020, only 42 cases were filed; 15 were under investigation; and only 11 were convicted.

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Meanwhile, in 2022, 26 incidents were recorded; 20 cases were filed; six went under investigation and no convictions yet.


Pandemic worsens online child sexual abuse in PH, says global report

TAGS: lockdowns

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