Gov’t, NGO use ‘whole-nation’ approach vs. child abuse

MANILA The government and its partner organizations have been using the "whole nation" approach in fighting the problem of child abuse in the country, an official of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Tuesday.

During the 1st anniversary of the "Safer Internet Day for Children Philippines" press briefing at the DSWD central office in Quezon City, Assistant Secretary and DSWD spokesperson Glenda Relova said the strategy involves the engagement by the government with all stakeholders to protect the rights and welfare of the children.

Based on the record of the UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund), the Philippines is number 10 in countries where cases of online sexual abuse of the child are rampant, she added, noting most of the victims are 13 to 17 years old.

Relova said among the red flags of online sexual abuse are the child secretly using internet and the child's silence and fear of authorities.

Umaasa akong sana ang lahat ay katuwang sa ligtas na paggamit ng internet para sa lahat (I am hoping that everybody will cooperate in the safe use of the internet for all), Relova said.

Meanwhile, Department of Justice (DOJ) Assistant Secretary Cheryl Daytec-Yangot said the department's Office of Cybercrime got some 37,715 tips on alleged online sexual predators from concerned netizens in 2016.

The culture where people don't complain and they hesitate to report sexual abuse incidents is the reason for the low conviction of sexual abuse cases, Yangot added.

It is estimated that there are 1 million child sexual abuse images yearly, she said, citing that the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has extracted more than 1 million media files from websites engaging in child pornography in 2017.

At the same time, the DSWD and the DOJ urged parents and guardians to strictly monitor their children in the use of the internet to protect them from child pornography and fall prey to child prostitution rings.

The DSWD partnered with the DOJ, Department of Information and Communications Technology and the non-government organization, International Justice Mission (IJM), to intensify awareness of the global menace of child pornography.

In 2016, the IJM has helped the National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine National Police to rescue 57 victims of human trafficking.

The Safer Internet Day was proclaimed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte through Proclamation No. 417 on Feb. 5, 2018. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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