ECPAT Philippines Joins the INHOPE Network
ECPAT Philippines and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to operate an INHOPE Hotline in the Philippines on October 13, 2020. They were then formally accepted into the network by the other INHOPE Member Hotlines on 1st December 2020.
Having worked on the issue of online and offline sexual exploitation of children for 3 decades, ECPAT Philippines has always worked closely with national and local law enforcement by referring reports and assisting in investigation of cases.
“We’re excited to be a part of the INHOPE network. We’ve worked hard for the hotline to be established in the Philippines because there’s an urgent need for us to upgrade our reporting system and strengthen international coordination in fighting CSAM, especially in this time of pandemic” - Ginno Corral, Online Child Protection Officer of ECPAT Philippines.
Economic difficulties, community lockdowns and travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 crisis have intensified cases of Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) in the Philippines.
The Department of Justice has reported a 264% increase in cyber tips of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) online from March-May 2020. Likewise, ECPAT Philippines received over 100 reports from the public in March to September 2020, an unusually high number compared to the 0-2 reports a month it was receiving prior to the pandemic.
In a rapid online survey conducted by the organization from May – June 2020, over 37% of 468 Filipino children and youth respondents admitted to connecting with strangers via social media sites during community quarantines; 30% of which received sexual content and messages online. Authorities have reported an increase in financial transactions linked to Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (OSAEC) of Children in the Philippines, particularly in March and May 2020.
“When we receive reports of CSAM from the public, we immediately refer them to law enforcement to facilitate its removal and investigation. But due to the multitude of cybercrime reports being received, verified and investigated by authorities every day, removing CSAM can take a long time, if not the backseat – especially if the content is hosted in another country.
A child victim is revictimized every time his or her image circulates online. Now that we’re a member of INHOPE, reports of CSAM can be processed and removed quicker across different jurisdictions. We also hope that the data preserved by the hotline can aid in victim and offender identification.” - Ginno Corral, Online Child Protection Officer of ECPAT Philippines.
We are thrilled to welcome ECPAT Philippines to the INHOPE Network.
Now that we’re a member of INHOPE, reports of CSAM can be processed and removed quicker across different jurisdictions.'