MORE than 50 civil society organizations (CSOs) will be joining with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to intensify the government’s fight against child cyber pornography.
DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman on Thursday pointed out that the Department recognizes the strategic role that the CSOs could play in the war on child cyber pornography.
The DSWD has already helped 384 victims from 2010 to 2015 in various parts of the country.
“The more than 50 CSOs will employ a multi-faceted approach in the fight against child sexual abuse and exploitation focusing on advocacy, capacity-building and networking to increase awareness on the issues from ground level [children, families and communities] to government departments, and with a strong focus on training and sensitizing the national police, social workers, teachers, along with the multiple non-government organizations,” Soliman explained.
Evelyn Pingul, communications and advocacy director of the International Justice Mission (IJM), said child cyber pornography is a serious problem wherein the children are forced to perform sex acts in exchange for a small amount of money.
Pingul note that the children are severely victimized and prostituted by people who patronize cyber pornography, on one hand, and earn huge income, on the other hand.
She pointed out that the government should really get the help of the NGOs and CSOs because they are a big force that could contribute effectively to putting an end to child cyber pornography.
Pingul said the government, the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), NGOs and CSOs should work together to seriously stop cyber pornography.
According to Soliman, as lead agency in social protection and of the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP), the DSWD and its partner agencies, and CSOs and NGOs are stepping up their advocacy campaign against child cyber pornography.
The DSWD and its partners are continuously conducting advocacy activities to raise the public’s awareness on the serious global issue, she said.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to educate and protect children in the use of information and communication technology (ICT),” Soliman added.
She said the department is managing centers that help victims of child cyber pornography.
The centers are the Home for Girls and Marillac Hills.
Home for Girls serves as a temporary residential facility providing alternative forms of family care to children whose needs cannot be adequately met by their loved ones and relatives over a period of time.
Aside from victims of abuses, it also caters to children in conflict with the law.
The victims are given psycho-social interventions to overcome their trauma and prepare them for reintegration with their families.
Marillac Hills is also known as National Training School for Girls. .
NELSON S. BADILLA