Press Releases
KEY ISSUES ON CHILD PROTECTION

The COVID-19 pandemic has graphically illustrated the importance of digital networks and service platforms. It is not easy to think of an aspect of our life that has not been affected by the Internet. The Internet has changed the way you work, learn, and shop during these times of the pandemic.  It has also changed the way you interact. It is where we  find new music,  watch movies, games and more importatly an essential tool for learning because of the wealth of information it contains. Internet is for everyone. It shapes a new platform in business and public services. However, to realize this, a regulation is necessary to make sure that everything is at the right line.

Parents and guardians should ensure the online safety of children as many of them spend more time on digital platforms due to limited mobility because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The internet is very important in these times, it helps the children and the youth continue learning and ease boredom by interaction with friends, classmates and teachers on social media, the internet is also used for reasearch but they can be exposed to inappropriate content.

The Committee for the Special Protection of Children (CSPC) chaired by the Department of Justice (DOJ) has rallied its member agencies to unite behind a collective vision of “ No child should be a victim of violence, abuse, neglect or exploitation”. The collective efforts of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), co- chair of the CSPC, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Bureau of Immigration (BI), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital Child protection Unit (UP-PGH CPU), National Prosecution Service (NPS), End Child Phornography and Child prostitution and Trafficking for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT), National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and other relevant authorities working to end the oppression of children.

The Comprehensive Program on Child Protection 2019-2022 presented the key issues on child protection are as follows: Child Pornography refers to any representation, whether visual, audio, or written combination thereof, by electronic, mechanical, digital, optical, magnetic or any other means, of child engaged or involved in real or simulated explicit sexual activities.

According to the report of the Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking (IACAT) , in 2017, DSWD served a total of 175 victims of child pornography, and in 2018, there were 230 victims served, an alarming 31 % increase fron the previous year. In areport of the DOJ’s Office of Cybercrime (OOC), it noted a whopping 264.63-percent increase in the number of reported online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) during the three-month quarantine period imposed by the government to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

Presidential Decree numbered 442 or the Labor Code of the Philippines has a specific provision on working children. Child Labor is an area that requires special protection of children because of its potential to deprive children of their childhood, the development of their potential and their dignity, and is harmful to physical and mental development. In the Philippine Statistics Authority Survey (PSA) indicate that more than half or 58.4 % of the 2,09 million children engaged in child labor are in the agriculture industry,mwhich includes crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities, forestry and logging, and fishing and aquaculture. About 34.6 % are in the services sector and the remaining 7% of children in child labor are in mining and quarrying, manufacturing and construction. According to the survey, children work i order to help in their own household-operated farm or business and to earn to supplement the income of their family because of poverty.

Child trafficking is about taking children out of their protective environment and preying on their vulnerability for the purpose of exploitation and is categorized in three general types namely prostitution and sexual exploitation; child labor and online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC). The IACAT situatiioner reported that 80 % of child traffcking cases involve prostitution and sexual exploitation, 10 % are OSEC cases and 10 % involve child labor trafficking including forced labor and the use of children in armed conflict.

The IACAT also reported that the vast majority of child trafficking cases are for commercial or traditional sex trafficking wherein the victims are lured in through promises of work as household workers, models, and/or entertainers in the city only to be trapped in a night club or bar to provide sexual services to customers in exhange of money or fee

Sex Tourism is defined in RA No. 10364 as a program organized by travel and tourism related establishments and individuals which consists of tourism packages or activities, utilizing and offering escort and sexual services as enticement for tourists.

Child prostitution as described in RA No. 7610 as a situation where children, whether male of female, are made to indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct “ for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group”. Persons who perform the following acts are considered to have engaged in or promoted, facilitated or induced child prostitution like acting as a procurer of a child prostitute; inducing a person to be a clent of a child prostitute by means of written and oral advertisements or other similar means; taking advantage of influence or relationship to procure a child as a prostitute; threatening or using violence towards a child to engage him as a prostitute; or giving monetary consideration, goods, or other pecuniary benefit to a child with intent to engage such child to prostitution.

There is significant evidence that violence, exploitation and abuse can affect the child’s physical and mental health in the short and longer term, impairing their ability to learn and socialize, and impacting their transition to adulthood with adverse consequences later in life.

END/Patrick Rillorta

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2020-10-01
Dir.Exequiel Guzman
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