Sexual abuse and exploitation of children has always been a problem. However, along with the rise of technology and advancements in communication new forms of sexual abuse and exploitation have evolved, and ease of accessibility has increased the risks and dangers to children. Children need to be protected from harm of sexual abuse and exploitation, which requires information and education on risks, along with raised awareness on protective behavior, in our physical world as well as online.
As a child protection organization, Stairway has been working on the issue of child sexual abuse for more than 15 years. Having developed creative and effective tools and methodologies for child sexual abuse prevention education, the organization has strived to make the issue an agenda of multiple stakeholders. However, it was only after participating in a regional conference facilitated by the Center for Exploitation and Online Prevention (CEOP) back in 2007 that our organization recognized there was a whole new and extremely fast growing trend in the use of the internet and technology in perpetration of child sexual abuse.
The scope and the gravity of this technology related threat to children’s safety came to us as a revelation, and we responded by immediately launching the creation of a localized online safety program to complement our existing child sexual abuse prevention program.
The study we present to you here is based on years of work on the issue of online child sexual abuse. Even though it does not present itself as a very formal research, we hope that it will make a useful contribution to the limited amount of data and literature to be found on this subject in the Philippines. Most significantly, we hope it will help create a renewed sense of urgency for any relevant stakeholder to prioritize enhanced prevention efforts to protect children against technology related crimes.
We would like to thank our partners in the Break the Silence network for making this research possible through administering the survey with children respondents from different parts of the Philippines. Your participation and continued partnership is much appreciated.
Online Risks Filipino Children Face Today