Recently launched group SaferKidsPH seeks to abolish the online sexual exploitation of children or their abuse and prostitution through the internet, claiming that 8 out of 10 accidents in the Philippines are cybercrime in nature.
According to a report by Cedric Castillo in GMA News' Balitanghali on Wednesday, the group is working with different agencies of the Philippine government, the private sector, and the Australian government.
“SaferKidsPH really seeks to educate and get people to understand the horrific part of online sexual orientation. The Australian government recognizes that Australian nationals are amongst the perpetrators,” Australian Embassy Ambassador Steven Robinson said.
As the internet and social media have become a large part of the public's lives, the group said protecting children from "online predators" presents a big challenge.
Online predators are not the only challenge, according to SaferKidsPH, if children are exploited and used by their own families.
Authorities last year arrested a grandmother in Sta. Cruz, Laguna for abusing her own grandchildren. A married couple were also caught in Lapu-Lapu City after using their own minor child and niece for pornography in 2016.
Meanwhile, officials also arrested a woman May this year for the prostitution of her own child and niece.
Law enforcement authorities acknowledged that the online exploitation of children will not be easily abolished.
According to authorities, the challenge lies in the arrest of the individuals involved and the progress of the cases.
"We want to have the kind of evidence where we don't need the participation of the victim, so that even if they desist or they don't participate then we can prosecute,” Department of Justice Assistant Secretary George Ortha II said.
SaferKidsPH also aims to enlighten the public and communities to signals hinting at online sexual exploitation.
"There are changes physically which can be manifested on the way they talk, the way they dress, sometimes [there] are hypersexual words (sic) that we can hear from them," Glenda Relova, assistant secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, said.
According to Relova, there are also changes in sleeping patterns because of interactions with foreign perpetrators.
The group's website "saferkidsph.org" may be visited for more information. —Joahna Lei Casilao/NB, GMA News