Philippines: Lawmakers push for capacity building and campaign against sexual abuse of children online

The House committee on the welfare of children in Philippines approved a report pushing for strengthening laws to  fight online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC). The House committee identified multiple gaps in the existing laws that fail to protect children against online abuse and noted that cases of OSEC tripled during the lockdown.

The report recommends revisions in the existing laws related to preventing child sexual exploitation materials (CSEM), human trafficking, cybercrime, and photo and video voyeurism; promote training investigators handling OSEC cases and strengthen partnerships with foreign law enforcement agencies. The report recommends promoting programs that would increase community awareness on OSEC, strengthening social media engagement, using offline methods like community-based forums, and utilizing television and cinemas for anti-OSEC campaigns.

Further the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in Philippines has proposed the issuance of an executive order addressed to the education and social welfare departments to come up with a learning module on OSEC for students and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.