THE Philippine government is set to identify hotspots of online sexual exploitation in the country, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said.
This action follows the official implementation of the Philippines’ partnership with the United States as the latter is set to provide $784,000 or P40 million to Manila to combat online sexual exploitation of children and child labor trafficking in the National Capital Region and Central Visayas.
Aguirre said Saturday the government’s law enforcement agencies had been working with the International Justice Mission to identify these hotspots.
“IJM, alongside the Philippine government, would formulate activities that would focus on geographical hotspots for online sexual exploitation of children,” he said in a statement.
“Henceforth, this will further enhance the protection of vulnerable children in target regions and nationality,” said Aguirre, also the chairman of Interagency Council Against Child Trafficking.
He said this was part of a series of activities under the Child Protection Compact partnership between the Philippines and the United States.
Aguirre cited the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Office had awarded $3.5 million, equivalent to P175 million, to its implementing partners IJM and the Salvation Army World Service Office.
“Being the first in the region, the CPC partnership aims to support sustainable improvements to combat online sexual exploitation of children and child labor trafficking and to expand specialized child protection services and prevention efforts to further improve the coordination among coordinating agencies,” he explained.
Aguirre noted both the IJM and the Salvation Army had begun working with the Philippine government and other civil society organizations to strengthen the government’s determination “to investigate, prosecute, and convict child traffickers; give a wide-ranging, trauma informed care for child victims of such crimes; and to stop online sexual exploitation of children and forced labor from happening.”
The United States, through the Interagency Council Against Trafficking in Persons, is set to provide $784,000 or P40 million to the Philippines to combat online sexual exploitation of children and child labor trafficking in National Capital Region and Central Visayas.
During the announcement of the launching of activities with the Department of Justice, the United States Embassy in Manila, through the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, also provided $3.5 million or P175 million to two implementing partners: International Justice Mission and The Salvation Army World Service Office.
“This Partnership represents a unique opportunity for the United States to partner with the government of the Philippines on an issue of the highest importance—building a better future for vulnerable Filipino children,” US Ambassador Sung Kim said.
The partnership was signed in 2016 between US Chargé d’Affaires Michael Klecheski and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
“The TIP Office will continue to work with IACAT and other participating departments during the partnership’s four-year implementation period,” the embassy stated.