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RACU reminds parents, guardians to protect their children from online exploitation

BAGUIO CITY (PIA) -- The Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit(RACU) in the Cordillera is reminding parents and guardians to guide their children in using social media, and their devices to avoid being victims of online sexual abuse or exploitation of children (OSAEC), and child sexual abuse or exploitation materials (CSAEM).

OSAEC is defined as "the use of information and communications technology (ICT) as a means to abuse and/or exploit children sexually, which includes cases in which offline child abuse and/or exploitation is combined with an online component.” 

CSAEM, on the other hand, refers to "any representation, whether offline, or by, through, or with the use of ICT, by means of visual, video, audio, written, or any combination thereof, by electronic, mechanical, digital, optical, magnetic or any other means, of a child engaged, or involved in real or simulated sexual activities, or depicting acts of sexual abuse or exploitation of a child as a sexual object.”

Police Chief Master Sergeant Genevieve Wance of RACU Cordillera said it is important for parents to monitor their children's online activities, and educate them about the risks in the online world.

PCMS Genevieve Wance of RACU Cordillera talks about the OSAEC and CSAEM during the Usapang PIA on Thursday, February 29, 2024.

"I-check ti device ti ubbing tayo. Importante nga gabayan tayo dagitoy ubbing tapnu haan da nga mabiktima. Ibaga tayo a haan nga dakes ti ag-accept iti friend ngem i-accept laeng diyay am-ammum,” Wance reminded.

[Check the device of your children. It is important that we guide them so that they will not be victimized. Tell them it is not bad to accept friends, but accept only those whom they know.] 

She stressed that open communication between the parents and the children is crucial to creating a safe online environment, and preventing potential harm to children.

Wance added that it is also important for parents or guardians to visit the schools of their children, and ask the teachers about their status. This is to ensure that their children are not facing any problems or risks.

It is also important for teachers to inform parents or guardians about anything that concerns their children for them to provide the needed support, she said.

"Bantayan tayo ti ubbing tayo. Mapan tayo met iti schools, bisitaen tayo ti school nu sadino ti pagis-eskwelaan ti ubing tayo. Damagen tayo nu anya met ti status ti ubbing tayo, baka adda gayam ti problema da nga haan tayo nga ammo.” 

[Let's watch over our children. We must visit their school and ask about their status. They might have a problem that we are not aware of.] 

Wance is encouraging the children not to be afraid of reporting to the authorities, or to the nearest police station in their area if they experience abuse or exploitation.

Recently, the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) issued a warning against an emerging trend in child abuse and exploitation, which is the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

Though there are no reported cases of AI CSAEM in the Philippines, the CWC issued the warning to prepare for potential threats as AI-generated child sexual abuse exploitation materials have already proliferated in other countries.

In 2022, the Anti-OSAEC and Anti-CSAEM Act was enacted to provide special protection to children from all forms of sexual violence, abuse and exploitation especially those committed with the use of ICT. Likewise, to provide sanctions for their commission and carry out programs for the prevention, deterrence and intervention in all situations of OSAEC in the digital and non-digital production, distribution or possession of CSAEM. (JDP/DEG-PIA CAR)

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Jamie Joie Malingan

Regional Editor


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