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A multi-sectoral organization has launched a campaign to combat internet sex trafficking.

A campaign against online sexual abuse and exploitation of minors was started here on Tuesday by multi-sectoral government and private sector organizations (OSAEC).

The #NotOnOurScreens campaign attempts to instill a culture of vigilance against child sexual exploitation by creating and disseminating child sexual exploitation content.

The campaign was started by the Philippine National Police – Woman and Children Center (PNP-WCPC), the Department of Justice – Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (DOJ-IACAT), and the International Justice Mission (IJM).

TikTok, a social networking site, and telecommunications companies PLDT and Smart are among the campaign’s other partners.

DOJ-IACAT Undersecretary-in-Charge Emmeline Aglipay-Villar said in a statement that the OSAEC is now the worst kind of trafficking and that it is terrible that unscrupulous persons are using the internet in a wrong and criminal way.

“Thankfully, some culprits have been brought to justice, with at least 138 of them already serving their sentences, which include life imprisonment. “But we can’t rest on our laurels,” Villar said, “particularly given the spike in this crime during the pandemic.”

“Now, more than ever, it is critical to remain vigilant against this crime.” “We at IACAT urge the public to assist in the battle against this crime by reporting it to authorities,” she continued.

The ad was also launched on Safer Internet Day when partner groups throughout the world celebrate victories over the years while simultaneously urging for a greater community response to the ongoing danger.

Prosecuted after being rescued

The IJM said in a separate statement that since Philippine authorities learned of the modern form of child trafficking, more than 300 perpetrators have been apprehended and nearly 900 victims have been rescued as a result of the government’s relentless campaign to end the online sexual exploitation of children, which includes numerous successful anti-trafficking in-person operations conducted by the PNP-WCPC.

The WCPC is a specialist unit of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that fights online sexual exploitation of children, which is considered a form of human trafficking in the Philippines.

At least two court convictions in OSAEC-related crimes were made in Iligan City in November 2021, according to WCPC, with IJM documenting the events.

After pleading guilty to offenses relating to online sexual exploitation of children, a female trafficker was sentenced to 19 years, four months, and four days in prison, with the possibility of an additional 10 months and two days.

After entering guilty pleas to violations under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, or Republic Act (RA) 9208, Anti-Child Abuse Law, or RA 7610, and Anti-Child Pornography Act, or RA 9775, a regional trial court branch in Iligan City handed down the decision on the trafficker on November 24.

On June 27, 2019, members of the WCPC-Mindanao field unit apprehended the trafficker and rescued four children, including her then-eight-year-old daughter, whom she had sold for live-streamed sexual abuse in exchange for money from internet sex offenders.

In an earlier statement, Brig. Gen. Alessandro Abella, the WPCPC chief, said, “This is the fruit of the cooperative effort of the brave men and women of the WCPC and our counterparts in the DOJ as we perform our sworn duty to hold those who prey on the innocent through the use of the internet accountable for their crimes.”

Presence on social media

The WCPC also has a “AlengPulis” Facebook page where individuals may report online sexual exploitation of children and other incidences of abuse and exploitation of women and children 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As of December 31, 2021, the government had obtained at least 138 convictions through the DOJ, based on IJM-supported activities.

Cathy L. Yap-Yang, 1st vice president and group head for corporate communications at PLDT and Smart, also stated that her companies support the IJM and the government in their efforts to expand the coalition against online sexual exploitation of Filipino children.

“As the epidemic spread, we were able to prohibit access to over 179,000 URLs (Uniform Resource Locators, or websites) associated with online child abuse through our network-embedded Child Protection Platform as of January 31, 2022,” she stated.

Yang added they have also pushed out child online safety education to over 37,000 stakeholders and launched capacity-building interventions for barangay councils for the protection of children in the most afflicted areas, thanks to their pioneering child safeguarding strategy.

IJM Philippines’ TikTok channel (@ijmph) has campaign videos. On TikTok, look for content with the hashtag #NotOnOurScreens to see all of the campaign videos.

The public is also encouraged to report any cases of OSAEC to the PNP-WCPC hotlines: 0919-777-7377 (Smart) and 0966-725-5961.

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