Academicians advise parents to make cyber safety a priority for children as kids are mostly at risk amid online learning. (Photo courtesy: News18)
By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — Due to reports about the prevalence of cyber exploitation among children, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is urging parents to make use of the Department of Education’s cyber safety modules in order to protect and help their kids on internet safety.
Because of the gradual shift to digital and online learning due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the CHR cited in a statement that more children are now on virtual platforms that have led to increased vulnerabilities to “online exploitation and cyberbullying”—a development much seen in most developing countries where they are easily preyed upon by cybercriminals.
The commission added that it has noted a significant increase in online sexual exploitation and abuse of children (OSAEC) despite its consistent call for more intense and wider government action for the protection of children against online abuse.
“The DepEd’s recent addition of cyber safety modules to help children learn the basics on internet safety is a long overdue but laudable initiative in enhancing educational safety nets to children on the dangers of improper internet usage, bullying, and online content sharing,” it stated in a statement released on Sunday, July 24.
“We are hopeful that knowledge learned from these modules would translate to more children avoiding harmful internet interactions and a decrease in OSAEC cases,” it enthused.
The CHR also reiterated its call for the passage of House Bill No. 10703, or the Anti-Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children, which will provide “strengthened protection for children against OSAEC-related crimes by requiring internet intermediaries and other internet or payment service providers to take down or remove websites that stream illegal content of abuse of minors.”
“By increasing penalties of those found guilty, the legislative measure also intends to deter the others from the commission of crimes,” the commission stressed.
“The passage of this bill shall demonstrate the resolve of the present administration to stamp out child abuse and make online spaces a safe space for children,” it likewise stated.
Last May, the Senate and the House of Representatives ratified the bill against the online sexual abuse or exploitation of children and child sexual abuse or exploitation materials and it is now up to President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. to sign it into law or veto it, possibly for additional amendments. (ai/mtvn)