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NGO Summit tackles online abuse of children

Manila, Philippines – On March 17, 2022, a Child Rights Consortium will host the End Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC) Summit, “Engaging Multi-Stakeholders on Safety of Children Online,” via Zoom and to be livestreamed via Facebook.

The End OSEC Summit will share and provide information not only on the crafting of national policies, but also on the results of a research highlighting the process of restoration and integration of survivors to their families. The Summit is part of the End OSEC project funded by the European Union.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality and principal sponsor of Senate Bill No. (SBN) 2209 “Special Protections against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) Law” or Anti-OSAEC Law will grace the Summit as the Keynote Speaker along with a panel of experts on sexual abuse and exploitation of children from various organizations and offices such as the Senate of the Philippines, Ateneo Human Rights Center, International Justice Mission (IJM) Philippines and Youth For Safety (Y4S) Youth Organization.

The proposed Anti-OSAEC Law will provide stiffer penalties for acts such as selling and/or distributing sexual materials involving minors, and will require online platforms and service providers to report, block, and remove materials online containing OSAEC materials.

The participants of the Summit will also hear from Consortium members leaders: National Director of Viva Denmark, Ms. Gritt Holm Hedehus; National Director of Philippine Children’s Ministries Network, Inc. (PCMN), Ms. Fe A. Foronda, RSW, MSW; and Regional Vice President of IJM’s Global Programs Against Online Sexual Exploitation of Children, Atty. Samson Inocencio, Jr.

The Head of the Cooperation Section of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, Mr. Christoph Wagner emphasizes the importance of working together with frontline workers in the anti-OSAEC campaign, “It is important to take initiative now, and I am happy that this anti-OSEC movement is gaining momentum with its legislative initiative, which requires legislators, policy makers, CSOs and other stakeholders to work together… It is important to work on many other areas such as education, working with the police, justice system, working with LGUs and barangays, working with parent councils, and many other actors involved.”

The Summit is open to the general public but the target participants are the City and Municipal Mayors of Dasmarinas and Iligan, City and Municipal Councilors, lawyers, City Social Welfare and Development Offices, significant stakeholders of the community such as the students, parents, and those who will benefit in learning about OSAEC.

The Consortium members advocate for the strengthening of policies at national and local level against online sexual exploitation of children in terms of prevention, rescue and restoration interventions. The End OSEC Summit is an avenue to share awareness to the target audiences on the improved provisions in the protection of children against OSEC.

To know more about the End OSEC Summit, click here: https://www.thepcmn.org/end-osec-summit-2022


ABOUT END OSEC PROJECT

The Consortium activities are implemented through a project called End Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (End OSEC) funded by the European Union. The End OSEC project is implemented in Dasmarinas City and Iligan City by the End OSEC Consortium, consisting of Viva Denmark, Philippine Children’s Ministries Network, Inc. (PCMN), and International Justice Mission (IJM) Philippines.

The project aims to enable the Philippine child protection system to protect children from Online Sexual Exploitation of Children and improve access to justice for its survivors. Specifically, to eliminate existing barriers to delivery of effective prevention, rescue, and restoration services to children-at-risk or victims of OSEC.

The project has three strategic interventions to tap different sectors of the community from (1) prevention which is to increase the awareness of key stakeholders and advocate for the enabling of laws, ordinances and policies for the protection of children against OSEC. The second component is rescue, which is to support rescue operations in the target areas of the project and capacitate key justice operators on skills and knowledge that will help them in engaging with children-survivors. And the third component is restoration which is to provide financial support to the foster care intervention of partner shelters and centers, and to train aftercare stakeholders for functionality of shelters and centers.

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