Raids ‘not enough’ to stop cyberporn trade-A A +A
Monday, September 9, 2013
CEBU CITY -- It will take more than raids or government efforts alone to end the menace of parents selling images of their children to pedophiles on the Internet, community leaders said.
The effort will have to include reaching out to educate parents involved in cyberpornography, who are probably unaware of its psycho-social impact on their children, a sociology professor said.
Leny Ocasiones, a professor at University of San Carlos, said stopping the cyberporn trade requires a “holistic solution” that will address the community’s lack of livelihood and lack of understanding about pornography.
“Raids are just a Band-aid solution,” she told Sun.Star Cebu in Sunday.
While she commends agencies behind the raids, Ocasiones said the government should also make efforts to improve people’s living conditions.
Pope Francis has called for action to fight human trafficking, Radio Vaticana reported. Regional State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane found the pope’s concern valid and timely.
“Human trafficking will not be solved if the government will do the job alone. It needs the full support of the NGOs (nongovernment organizations), religious groups, and especially the community,” he told Sun.Star Cebu.
“I hope the problem will also be given focus by different parishes and priests,” Gubalane said.
The prosecutor’s office is a member of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), which rescued 13 minors believed to be victims of online pornography in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova last Friday morning.
Later that night, two women were caught by the police on suspicion that they let a 10-year-old pose naked in front of a computer in Barangay Basak, Lapu-Lapu City.
A couple was also arrested for allegedly operating a cybersex den and their three children were rescued in Barangay Ibabao, Cordova last Wednesday.
Ocasiones believes poverty pushes parents to expose their children to cyberporn.
Some parents she interviewed three years ago believed cyberpornography would not harm their children.
“Their children won’t be touched, so they think it won’t harm them. They have no idea about its psychosocial effect on their children. This is beyond the comprehension of the parents,” she said.
Chito Bentazal, chief of Barangay Ibabao, Cordova, earlier said parents use their children for cyberporn mainly to sustain their vices.
“Maybe for some, it’s true. But it’s difficult to generalize,” Ocasiones said.
A theory in sociology called “strain theory”, she pointed out, explains that some people resort to socially unacceptable means to achieve widely accepted social goals like having a house or getting rich.
Focus on families
Ocasiones said there should be educational activities in the community that will give residents “a deeper understanding of the importance of the family.”
Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy said he plans to launch a massive advocacy campaign against cyberpornography.
The town has been the site of raids against home-based cybersex operations since 2011.
Two couples have been arrested and almost 20 children have been rescued in separate anti-cybersex operations this year.
Sitoy said the town will soon pass an ordinance requiring money transfer establishments to follow stricter procedures in releasing money to claimants.
As their response to the pontiff, Vatican officials and other experts will convene on November 2 to 3 to discuss ways to prevent the growing problem of “trafficking in humans and other forms of exploitation.”
Members of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences and the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations will attend the meeting at Vatican City’s Casina Pio IV.
“No one can deny that ‘the trade in human persons constitutes a shocking offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights’ and is an accelerator of criminal wealth creation in this new century,” said Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences Chancellor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo.
The US State Department’s “Trafficking in Persons Report” states that human trafficking in the Philippines is caused by “endemic poverty, a high unemployment rate, a cultural propensity toward migration, a weak rule-of-law environment, and sex tourism.”
Last Thursday, the Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and other Christian churches in the Philippines joined together to fight the problem as well as help the government address its “interlocking” causes with an “integrated response,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said in its website.
“The religious leaders can really help a lot in educating our people and raising their awareness about this problem,” said Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of CBCP’s National for Secretariat for Social Action.
He added: “Our country now is being burned by this issue, which is not that common to the public. It will bring down our morality if we will still remain uneducated on the issue and will not find a solution to it.” (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 09, 2013.