Philippine bill to strengthen anti-trafficking measures boosts efforts in communities
Manila, Philippines – A Child Rights Consortium commends the passing of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2022 to strengthen anti-trafficking measures and boost the efforts of stakeholders in the community-level implementation.
The House of the Representatives also voted to approve on third reading the House Bill (HB) 10703, or the Anti-Online or Offline Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Act of 2022.
“The legal framework provides for the foundation of our actions in combatting against online sexual abuse and exploitation of children and human trafficking. The bills will facilitate enforcement of community obligations towards the safety of its citizenry and ensure achievement of rights.” says PCMN National Director, Ms. Fe A. Foronda, on how the bills (HB 10658 and SB 2449) amending the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act will build up the ongoing interventions of local stakeholders against sexual exploitation of children and human trafficking.
"The International Justice Mission (IJM) is pleased to note that the Philippine Congress has passed the bill which amends and expands the Expanded Anti Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012. Internet communications technologies has grown exponentially during the last 10 years and although it has made our lives easier, it has also made committing crimes against children easier. It is high time that the Anti- trafficking in Persons Act was strengthened to make it more responsive to emerging trends and enable the use of technology to the law's advantage instead of allowing it to perpetrate online sexual exploitation of children", says Atty. Samson Inocencio, Jr., Regional Vice President of IJM Global Programs Against Online Sexual Exploitation of Children.
As member of the Consortium, the Philippine Children’s Ministries Network (PCMN) has been working with the Child Rights Network (CRN) in policy advocacy and has joined forces with partners like the Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking (PIMAHT) to campaign and raise awareness on sexual exploitation of children—both at the national and local levels.
The Consortium is actively advocating for the institutionalization of a Human Trafficking Prevention Education Program through school-based and community-based programs. In collaboration with the Department of Education, it has conducted a pilot program on prevention education through the roll-out of the safety of children online worksheets to 69 public schools in Dasmarinas City and Iligan City which reached 109,000 students.
The Consortium supports policy change not only on national bills but also through local ordinances to protect children against sexual abuse and exploitation. The newly signed Ordinance in the City of Dasmariñas, 08-S-2021, which promulgates guidelines in the protection of children against online sexual abuse and exploitation and provides penalties thereof, is an example of the efforts at the local level.
Through the passing of these bills, the Consortium strongly advocates for its full implementation for the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation in all aspects.#
ABOUT END OSEC PROJECT
The Consortium activities are implemented through a project called End Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (End OSEC) funded by the European Union. The End OSEC project is implemented in Dasmarinas City and Iligan City by the End OSEC Consortium, consisting of Viva Denmark, Philippine Children’s Ministries Network, Inc. (PCMN), and International Justice Mission (IJM) Philippines. It aims to enable the Philippine child protection system to protect children from Online Sexual Exploitation of Children and improve access to justice for its survivors.
Media Contact : Ma. Luisa A. Bautista
End OSEC Project Communications Officer
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