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Cavite student leaders, Save the Children unite against online sexual abuse

Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children training

Press Release
February 21, 2024

QUEZON CITY – Student leaders in Cavite are speaking out against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) and Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) with Save the Children Philippines in celebration of Safer Internet Day 2024.

About 30 High School student leaders from Tagaytay, Trece Martires, Naic, Tanza, Silang, and General Mariano Alvarez participated in the activity organized by Save the Children under its Protect Children Philippines (PCPh) Project on February 17 where their knowledge about OSAEC-CSAEM prevention was reinforced.

So far, Save the Children Philippines has trained more than 18,000 children and adults in ensuring the safety and well-being of children online through its PCPh Project.

"Most of us are not familiar with the terms OSAEC and CSAEM, so it is essential for us to learn about such terminologies because these are the stepping stones I see for us, the youth, to raise awareness. Through this, we can give voice and courage to those who have become victims of such cases,” said Aleah, 17, President of the Supreme Secondary Learner Government (SSLG) at Tanza National Comprehensive High School.

The Province of Cavite ranks third in the country with destinations for suspicious OSAEC-related transactions and largest proportion of domestic senders on OSAEC-related remittances.

“Internet crime related to children is a significant problem in the Province of Cavite. We are trying to address it, but due to the size of the province and the multitude of opportunities, we are facing challenges. Let's all work together to end this. Let's have a safe Cavite. Let's Save the Children," said Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla on a video message.

The children and youth participants provided recommendations to address the issue. Aleah and her SSLG peers proposed to organize a symposium, an oratorial speech competition, and a media literacy campaign – all of which would highlight OSAEC-CSAEM. Other participants proposed organizing theatre productions, workshops, community outreach, caravans, and campaign festivals.

"We should know how to speak up for the truth and our rights. So, if we know that what we see online is not right, report it, do not share it. In that simple act, you are already making a big difference for others,” Aleah said.

Save the Children Philippines advocated for the passage of Republic Act 11930 or the Anti-OSAEC-CSAEM Law in 2022 and actively participated in the development of its implementing rules and regulations in 2023. While legal safeguards are in place, Save the Children firmly believes in the vital role of children's active participation in fostering a safer online environment.