A party-list solon expressed concern over the rising cases of online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC).
Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said the matter must be addressed by the national government especially since the pandemic and calamities have made more children more vulnerable to abuse.
Citing reports, Brosas said that eight out of 10 Filipino children are at risk of online sexual abuse as reported by UNICEF.
“And we remain to be a global hotspot for these, and yet there remains to be an urgent government response to at least address and investigate these cases of violence against children. And the worst part about this is that more and more victims have to deal with the bad experience as they grow,” Brosas said.
The Makabayan bloc filed House Resolution 1313 last October urging the House Committee on the Welfare of Children to probe the alarming spike in OSEC amid the pandemic.
The Gabriela solon said the dire impacts of the pandemic and the recent calamities are pushing more families to enlist their children in OSEC due to worsening poverty, noting that most cases are usually “family-based crimes.”
Based on studies, the median age of the victims is 11 years old while the length of abuse suffered by children ranges from two months to four years.
Gabriela Women’s Party is supporting the move of House Committee on the Welfare of Children Chair Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez to initiate a congressional probe into the rising cases of OSEC.
“We hope the committee will schedule this investigation at the soonest time possible so that we can work on proposed amendments on our laws to strengthen the protection of children from online predators and organized syndicates,” Rep. Brosas said.