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Children vulnerable of online sexual exploitation amidst pandemic 

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Children vulnerable of online sexual exploitation amidst pandemic 

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Feb. 15 (PIA) – The Regional Police Office XI and Regional Sub-committee for the Welfare of Children are advocating for the protection of children from online sexual exploitation during the pandemic.

During the One Davao Presser on February 15, 2021, Chief of Regional Women and Child Protection Desk Regional Police Office XI, Police Major Jacqueline Antero, said that there are individual risk factors that may lead a child to be sexually exploited.

“Very vulnerable na maging victim sa online sexual exploitation kaning mga kabatan-onan nato nga na maltreatment, kaning mga stow away, mga runaway, mga abandoned children, or living in the street (Very vulnerable in online sexual exploitation our youths who are maltreated, stow away, runaway, abandoned, or those living in the street),” she said.

She explained that these types of children are vulnerable to become victims because they are the ones facing survival.

Regional Sub-committee for the Welfare of Children Regional Coordinator, Reneeboy Binondo, said that it is especially alarming due to the fact that online communication is easily accessible at such a small price.

“Mas alarming karon tungod kay mobile data lang ang cellphone, mag load lang ug 10 or 30, pwede na macontact sa perpetrator (It is more alarming now because with just mobile data on cellphone, just load 10 or 30 pesos, the perpetrator can already contact),” he said.

As such, Binondo calls on the parents to monitor and regulate their children’s use of gadgets.

“We are not waiting for this to go rampant. We really monitor Facebook accounts, group chats, etc.,” he added.

In addition, Deputy Chief of Anti Cybercrime Unit Region XI, Police Major Julius P. Santillana, identified pornography, sexting, cyberbullying, predators, online games, and social networks as the types of dangers to children that could lead to cybercrime.

With this, to prevent online sexual abuse and exploitation when faced with a perpetrator, he advised to never respond to threats, stop all forms of communication, deactivate all accounts used to communicate with the person, speak to a safe adult, and to contact the Anti-Cybercrime Group. (Jan Vincent Leuterio/PIA-XI)