THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has vowed to strengthen its programs and services for victims of child pornography and their families and to advocate for stronger policies that would ensure the protection of children from various forms of sexual exploitation.
DSWD, also the chair of the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP), made the statement after the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) released a report indicating an increase in the volume of suspicious transactions related to child pornography.
As chair of the IACACP and the lead agency in the social protection of vulnerable sectors, the DSWD is closely working with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to track and apprehend perpetrators of child pornography and rescue victims.
DSWD is also working with the local government units (LGUs), especially with the various Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) around the country, to increase awareness, prevention and early detection of cases. Rescued victims are placed in DSWD custody and provided with psychosocial interventions.
Over the years, DSWD has intensified its coordination with IACACP member-agencies to address the problem of child pornography.
Among the major accomplishments of the Council was strengthened advocacy for the prevention of child pornography through various platforms, including the formulation of a National Response Plan (NRP) for Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) 2016-2020.
Based on the National Response Model Frame of the We Protect Global Alliance, the NRP serves as a guide for government agencies, LGUs, civil society organizations, private sectors and other stakeholders to address the gaps in prevention, responses, capacity building, policies and child protection mechanisms.
To attain this task, the NRP had devised five Key Result Areas on Advocacy and Prevention, Law Enforcement and Prosecution, Protection, Recovery and Reintegration, Research and Management Information System, and Resource Mobilization and Partnership.
To reinforce the campaign against online child pornography, the Duterte administration issued Proclamation No. 417 on February 5, 2018, declaring the 2nd Tuesday of February of every year as “Safer Internet Day for Children Philippines”.
Likewise, in this time of pandemic, the DSWD emphasized that it is even more crucial to closely monitor the safety of children even inside their homes since they cannot go out to report abuses being committed against them.
The department is also encouraging the community to be on the alert and immediately report to the authorities all forms of abuse against children.