More than 900 government officials and non-government organizations (NGO) attended the opening of the two-day “Ako Para Sa Bata” conference held at the Marco Polo Hotel yesterday.
The first to be held on Cebu, the conference sponsored by the Child Protection Network (CPN) is aimed at eliminating the cases of cyberpornography and online “sextortion” schemes that victimize children.
In a speech, Ricardo Paras Jr., chief state counsel of the Department of Justice (DOJ), said one of 1,500 youths surveyed admitted to being exposed to online pornography.
Quoting a study, he said 66 percent of these youths were unwilling subjects of online pornography.
“One in 25 youths was asked to send a sexual picture of himself or herself,” Paras told the audience.
Dorothy Rozga, executive director of ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes), said 1.8 billion pornographic photos are uploaded everyday and 270,000 of these involve minors.
She said most of them are shared through peer-to-peer file sharing, cloud computing and through The Deep Web where 96 percent of it is buried online and password protected.
Only four percent are made available via web search engines, Rozga said.
“The perpetrators are becoming more sophisticated. The anonymity online is what drives the demand for child pornography,” she said.
Rozga said children as young as a three-day-old infant are victimized and 38 percent of the perpetrators are their own parents and relatives.
Paras said poverty drives parents to allow their children to be used for cyberpornography.
Supt. Maria Ivy Castillo of the Anti-Cybercrime Group said the Philippines has one of the highest rates of sextortion cases worldwide.
“Sextortion occurs when the predator befriends the child or his or her parents either personally or online then blackmails them to force them into cyberpornography,” Castillo said.
She said pay per view live streaming of live sex between adults and children have risen in the past few years along with online exposure of children.
Castillo said those seeking help can always go to angelnet.ph where they can coordinate with law enforcement agencies to go after the online perpetrators.
“We do cyber patrolling to identify and track down any related account of the perpetrators,” she said.