As the lead agency in social protection and chair of the Inter-agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and its partner agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs) are intensifying their advocacy campaign against child cyber pornography.

“The Department, together with its partners, are continuously conducting advocacy activities to raise the public’s awareness on this serious global issue,” DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to educate and protect children in the use of information and communication technology (ICT),” Sec. Soliman added.

From 2010 to 2015, the DSWD has attended to 384 cases of child cyber pornography nationwide.

The Department also manages centers which help victims of cyber pornography, such as Home for Girls and Marillac Hills.

Home for Girls serves as a temporary residential facility providing alternative forms of family care to children whose needs cannot be adequately met by their loved ones and relatives over a period of time. Aside from victims of abuses, the center also caters to children in conflict with the law. The residents are given psycho-social interventions to overcome their trauma and prepare them for reintegration with their families.

On the other hand, Marillac Hills, also known as National Training School for Girls,  provides temporary shelter, psychosocial support and healing sessions, medical services, self-enhancement sessions, livelihood skills development sessions, counseling services, legal assistance and witness preparation, escorting of clients during court hearings, and referral to concerned agencies for other appropriate interventions.

DSWD has also partnered with civil organizations (CSOs) to fight cyber pornography.

The Break the Silence Network counts more than 50 CSOs, nationwide, helping in the fight versus cyber pornography. These CSOs employ a multi-faceted approach in the fight against child sexual abuse and exploitation focusing on advocacy, capacity building and networking to increase awareness of the issues from ground level (children, families and communities) to government departments, and with a strong focus on training and sensitizing the national police, social workers, teachers, along with multiple NGOs.

Tapping millenials

Meanwhile, to raise the awareness of the youth sector on the campaign, DSWD is encouraging the millennial generation to take part in the project #StopChildPornPH, that it will launch this year.

The project is a child online protection education website providing safety education for children, parents/guardians and service providers who will promote, advocate, and build capabilities of all child duty-bearers.

A major component of the project involves developing web and mobile platforms, applications, and services where prevention and advocacy along child online protection will be hosted.

“This is why we are engaging the youth because of their exposure to various online technologies and knowledge in ICT,” Sec. Soliman said.

To reinforce its advocacy campaign, DSWD organized a contest dubbed as “Hackathon” which aimed to come up with accessible and user-friendly computer and mobile applications which will make reporting of child cyber pornography incidents easier.

Held at the Bayview Park Hotel on February 17-19, the Hackathon was participated in by information technology students from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Far Eastern University (FEU), ABE International Business College, Cosmopoint International Institute of Technology (CIIT), and Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP).

The winners were:

For Component 1 (Mobile and Web App Development)

  • Ist Place – UST;
  • 2nd Place – FEU Makati;
  • 3rd Place – PUP; and,
  • Best in Concept Idea: PUP.

For Component 2 (Info Graphics)

  • 1st Place- PUP;
  • 2nd Place- TIP;
  • 3rd Place- CIIT; and,
  • Best in Concept Idea: CIIT.

The entries shall be used by the DSWD and IACACP in their continued advocacy against child pornography. ###