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Now Reading: CHILD ABUSE | Philippines working with Facebook to track down child sexual exploitation sites
CHILD ABUSE | Philippines working with Facebook to track down child sexual exploitation sites
May 23, 2020 , 06:06 PM

May 23, 2020 – Philippine law enforcement agencies have started working closely with the world’s largest social media platform to investigate the proliferation of child sexual abuse and exploitation online.

In an advisory on Saturday, the Philippines has observed the proliferation of Facebook pages and groups, such as ‘Mahilig sa Bata’, ‘Batang Masarap Spotted’, and ‘Samahang Mahilig sa Bata’, used to promote and facilitate the exchange of child sexual exploitation photos and videos.

Last week, Senator Risa Hontiveros has called on the NBI to investigate the pages after a US-based non-government group released a report showing the country has emerged as a global hotspot for online sexual exploitation for children.

Authorities said administrators and members of these social media pages deliberately evaded law enforcement by regularly changing the its names, and keeping the groups private.

The Department of Justice – Office of Cybercrime (DOJ-OOC), National Bureau of Investigation – Anti-Human Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD), and the Philippine National Police – Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WPC) said they were working with the management of Facebook to obtain data in relation to these accounts.

Possession of and access to, as well as possession with the intent to sell, distribute, publish, or broadcast any form of child pornography is punishable under Republic Act No. 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, and Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. Those found guilty would be imprisoned from four to 17 years, and fined from P200,000 to one million pesos.

HOT SPOT FOR CHILD ABUSE

The Philippines has emerged as a global hot spot for online child sexual abuse, according to a new study by the US non-government organization in partnership with the local justice department released on Thursday.

Based on a three-year study by the Washington-based International Justice Mission (IJM), the estimated prevalence rate of internet-based child sexual abuse in the Philippines has dramatically increased more than three times.

Data from National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) CyberTipline reports showed the estimated number of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses used for internet-based child sexual exploitation in the Philippines sharply rose, from around 23,333 in 2014 to 81,723 in 2017, or a 250-percent increase.

(Katrina Elaine Alba/MM)

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