Philippine Congress: Act now to shut down the Online Sexual Exploitation of Children

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The Philippines is the global epicenter of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC). In 2018 alone, at least 600,000 photos and videos of naked, sexualized, and abused Filipino children were uploaded, shared, and sold online. This marks a 1,300% increase from the previous year.

We urge our legislators to immediately start a Congressional oversight of laws related to OSEC. We need to review the accountability of Internet companies and other private actors, as well as address the root causes as to why OSEC is thriving in the Philippines. We need better laws to protect the Filipino children from online sexual predators.

Here are 6 more reasons why we should shut down OSEC:

1. Filipino children are ideal targets of online sexual predators. The reasons: widespread poverty, cheap Internet and smartphones, ability to speak English well (which is attractive to foreigners), and OSEC fast becoming a family business.

2. Philippines continues to be a top global source of child sexual abuse materials. 

3. OSEC does real harm. Victims of OSEC have suffered a tremendous amount of physical and psychological trauma. Cybersex den operators have sexually assaulted, raped, tortured, and beaten children to cater to the twisted obsession of online sexual predators. The youngest victim of OSEC was a 2-month-old baby.  

4. One in five Filipino children are vulnerable to OSEC, according to UNICEF. Boys are also found to be as vulnerable as girls.

5. Sexual predators and OSEC facilitators rarely get convicted. In 2018, only 27 perpetrators were convicted out of thousands of reports.

6. Our current laws are not enough to significantly curb OSEC. OSEC in all its forms and stages is not clearly defined. There's a loophole that fails to require Internet companies to develop technology to block and filter child sexual abuse on the Internet. Private actors like hotels and inns, banks, and money remittance centers do not have clear obligations when it comes to shutting down OSEC, yet their platforms are being used by online sexual predators to abuse children.

If we do not act now, this situation will grow out of control. Together, we can help end this through bold legislative change.

Sign the petition to #ShutDownOSEC!

To know more about the issue, visit www.childrightsnetwork.ph/ShutDownOSEC

About Us

Child Rights Network (CRN), the largest alliance of organizations and agencies pushing for children’s rights legislation in the Philippines, is leading the campaign to help shut down the online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) through legislative change.

The campaign is led by three CRN member-organizations: ChildFund, Plan International, and UNICEF.

Follow CRN on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @crnphilippines