In response to the alarming rise in numbers of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) cases in the Philippines, the Quezon City Government has joined forces with the Mission Alliance Philippines (MAP), the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (CPTCSA), the Philippine Children’s Ministries Network (PCMN), Plan International Pilipinas, and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila to conduct an Anti-OSAEC conference today, November 14, at Novotel Manila.
According to MAP, the Philippines has emerged as a global hotspot for online sexual abuse and exploitation of children. A 2020 national study on Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children in the Philippines revealed that a staggering 80% of Filipino children are vulnerable to online sexual abuse.
Additionally, based on the 2022 Disrupting Harm Study conducted by UNICEF, ECPAT International, and Interpol, it disclosed that 20% of Internet-using Filipino children aged 12-17 have fallen victim to OSAEC, representing two million children.
“Combating child abuse and exploitation has been a challenge for the government, especially with the emergence of technology. We, the Quezon City Government, are grateful for this partnership led by Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Christian Lyster. Together, we can minimize the cases of, if not end, Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and protect our youth,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
“The Philippines is a hotspot for online sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Norway, through the Nordic Police Liaison Office, works closely with Philippine law enforcement agencies to combat OSAEC. Investigation and prosecution are not enough. We must create awareness on this challenging problem to prevent victims from being abused. I hope that this conference will contribute to discussions on keeping children safe,” said Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Christian Lyster.
The conference featured esteemed speakers, including Mayor Belmonte and Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines HE Christian Lyster. The discussion contributed to a collective and comprehensive strategy to address the multifaceted challenges posed by OSAEC.
Commitment speeches from other city and municipal leaders, and a call to action from the youth were also delivered.