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Save the Children Backs BBM’s Call to End Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children

Campaign Against OSAEC-CSAEM

Save the Children Philippines supports Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s strong directive to end online sexual abuse or exploitation of children (OSAEC) and child sexual abuse or exploitation of children (CSAEM).

The Philippines currently ranks second in the world, after India, in terms of the number of cases of child sexual exploitation online.

There have been reports of online sexual abuse and exploitation of babies as young as three months old. They come from impoverished communities and live with their relatives, who are desperate for money. Parents, relatives, and neighbors force these children to perform sexual acts in front of a camera.

We stand in unity with the President and the nation in combating this silent pandemic that has harmed and stolen the futures of millions of Filipino children.

President Marcos Jr.’s sentiments on the troubling cases of OSAEC-CSAEM involving children, 86% of whom are female, ranging in age from 11 years old to as young as one year old, are valid, and we must be certain that we use a whole-community approach to put an end to it.

According to the National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children, approximately one in every two children has experienced online violence.

With 41% of facilitators being biological parents and 42% being relatives, we are convinced that prevention should begin at home, in schools, and in communities.

Save the Children has been working for and with children, the government, and multi-sector partners to raise awareness and develop children and youth capacity for OSAEC-CSAEM protection and prevention. We advocated for the approval of Republic Act 11930, also known as the Anti-OSAEC-CSAEM Law, in 2022, as well as the implementing rules and regulations in 2023.

Functional child protection systems must supplement this to address the reporting, response, prosecution, and rehabilitation of children who have been victims of OSAEC-CSAEM.

In support of the government’s efforts, Save the Children Philippines intends to intensify its work on localizing the OSAEC-CSAEM Law and contribute to further advocacy for child protection from any form of violence at all levels.

In 2023, our OSAEC initiatives and advocacy led to the enactment of four (4) local anti-OSAEC ordinances in Tagum, Davao, General Santos City, and Iligan City.

We push for increased cooperation among local government units, law enforcement agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), the body mandated by law to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the Anti-OSAEC-CSAEM Law, to ensure that policies, programs, and services are available and that children are always protected.

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