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Philippines sees increase in cyber tip reports in 2021; UNICEF calls for collective action on Safer Internet Day

UNICEF Philippines

MANILA, 9 February 2022—To commemorate Safer Internet Day, UNICEF calls on increased protection of children online amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A report from the Department of Justice – Office of Cybercrime saw an exponential increase in cyber tip reports for the Philippines to 2.8 million in 2021 from 1.2 million in 2020 and 400,000 in 2019. According to the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center, there were 131 children rescued, 16 perpetrators arrested, and 49 operations conducted from January to August 2021.

UNICEF joins the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP), the SaferKidsPH consortium, and the Child Rights Network in celebrating #SaferInternetDay with the theme: Click, Respect, Connect – CRC Next Level: Ligtas na Ugnayan Online.

According to the Philippine Kids Online Survey, a study conducted by the DSWD-IACACP with support from UNICEF, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has had a profound impact on the way that children use the Internet, specifically the length of time they may spend online, and the resulting levels of risk to which they may be exposed.

“We have heard from children and young people that while the Internet poses opportunities for growth and learning, it can also become a source of threat and potential abuse. Thus, it is imperative that we continue our efforts in safeguarding our children in digital platforms and supporting the government in employing a whole-of-government approach to do so,” said UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov.

UNICEF leads the implementation of the SaferKidsPH programme, an Australian government initiative. The pioneering consortium aims to reduce the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the Philippines and works with various sectors to ensure that children are safe and protected online.

Month-long activities for #SaferInternetDay include a forum with internet service providers (ISPs) on technologies to combat and address online sexual abuse and exploitation of children; a webinar on child online protection by the Council for the Welfare of Children, SaferKidsPH, and UNICEF; Safer Internet Hour on Twitter by the Child Rights Network and UNICEF; and interactive activities in social media tailored for child rights advocates, parents, caregivers, and children.

UNICEF calls for the renewed commitment of the government and civil society to synergize and to put children’s rights and protection at the forefront of digital efforts. UNICEF is urging the passage of a bill on online sexual abuse and exploitation of children at both chambers of Congress and its effective implementation if enacted.

To join UNICEF in making the Internet safer for kids, visit https://www.saferkidsph.org/help-stop-osaec/. For more information on Safer Internet Day activities , you may visit the Facebook page of the SaferKidsPH, Child Rights Network and the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography.


About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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