By: Margaret Padilla
The passage of Republic Act 11930, also known as the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) Law, was recognized by child rights organizations as “the beginning of safer online spaces for children.”
Last July 30, RA 11930 became law. The law mandates social media platforms, electronic service providers, internet and financial intermediaries, and other entities to block child sexual abuse or exploitation materials (CSAEM) and cooperate with law enforcement.
The law also gives law enforcement authorities tools for surveillance and investigation of OSAEC cases.
According to the Philippine Star, Child Rights Network (CRN) believes the legislation will protect children from claims of online sexual abuse and exploitation and will make cyberspace safer for children.
“It is our fervent wish for Filipino children to safely navigate the virtual space without fear. RA 11930 symbolizes the break of dawn heralding a future where no more children are harmed, abused, and victimized through the internet,” as said by CRN convenor Romeo Dongeto.
Likewise, Dongeto emphasized that RA 11930 fills fundamental gaps in existing laws and regulations concerning OSAEC.
It gives clear definitions that consider the often-ephemeral nature of OSAEC committed through the viewing or live-streaming of online content that does not require the offender to do any act of downloading or retaining any form of child sexual abuse materials.
Meanwhile, according to the SaferKidsPH group, the passage of RA 11930 makes the Philippines one of the first countries in the East Asia and Pacific region to have a formalized and collaborative approach to responding to child sexual abuse and exploitation online.
UNICEF, The Asia Foundation, Save the Children Philippines, and Australian Embassy, include the SaferKidsPH consortium.