The “Global Resolve Against Online Sexual Exploitation of Children Virtual Summit” opened on Thursday, November 19, with the Philippines promising to address the “global scourge” of live-streamed child sexual abuse.
“The Philippine government refuses to idly stand by while this reprehensible crime threatens our children,” said the Philippines’ justice secretary, Menardo Guevarra.
“We have been tenacious in the pursuit to end it in the country by sustaining and scaling all our efforts to address this issue,” he said in his opening remarks.
John C. Law, chargé d’affaires ad interim with the United States Embassy in the Philippines, noted the significant strides made by the Philippines.
“For five years running, the Philippines has maintained a Tier 1 ranking, the report’s highest, by continuing to take concrete definite steps to combat trafficking, including online exploitation,” he said.
“Together, the Philippines and the United States have built a strong foundation on which to enhance and expand our efforts to stop human trafficking and online sexual exploitation of children,” he added.
Christa Sharpe, president of the International Justice Mission in Asia Pacific, said that while the Philippines has become a global hotspot the “technology-facilitated form of child abuse and trafficking,” the Philippine government has also “courageously faced this problem and aims to now become a model for how to combat and end the crime.”
The Philippine experience in combating online sexual exploitation of children is highlighted by the three-day summit, which is hosted by the Philippine Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in partnership with the US Department of Justice Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and International Justice Mission.
The first day of the summit delved into the nature and scale of online sexual exploitation of children, particularly the trafficking of children to create new child sexual exploitation materials, including live-streamed child sexual abuse.