The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has urged the public to make use of the Department of Education’s cyber safety modules to protect and help young children on internet safety.
Amid the gradual shift to digital and online learning due to COVID-19 pandemic, the CHR said more children are on virtual platforms that led to increased vulnerabilities to “online exploitation and cyberbullying.”
The commission said it has noted an increase in online sexual exploitation and abuse of children (OSAEC), adding that it has consistently called for greater government action for the protection of children against online abuse.
“The DepEd’s recent addition of cyber safety modules to help children learn the basics on internet safety is a long overdue but laudable initiative in enhancing educational safety nets to children on the dangers of improper internet usage, bullying, and online content sharing,” the CHR said in a statement released on Sunday.
“We are hopeful that knowledge learned from these modules would translate to more children avoiding harmful internet interactions and a decrease in OSAEC cases,” it added.
The CHR also reiterated its call for the passage of House Bill No. 10703 or the Anti-Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children, which provides “strengthened protection for children against OSAEC-related crimes by requiring internet intermediaries and other internet or payment service providers to take down or remove websites that stream illegal content of abuse of minors.”
“By increasing penalties of those found guilty, the legislative measure also intends to deter the others from the commission of crimes,” the CHR said.
“The passage of this bill shall demonstrate the resolve of the present administration to stamp out child abuse and make online spaces a safe space for children,” it added.
Last May, the Senate and the House of Representatives ratified the bill against the online sexual abuse or exploitation of children and child sexual abuse or exploitation materials. It is now up to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. whether he will sign it into law or veto it.—Richa Noriega/AOL, GMA News