Most online exploitation cases involve Filipino children and men from other countries. Photo: iStock

Law enforcement agencies from the Philippines, the United Kingdom and Australia have launched the first international center dedicated to combating the online exploitation of children.

On Wednesday, the Woman and Children’s Protection Center (WCPC), the National Bureau of Investigation-Anti Human Trafficking Division, the Australian Federal Police, the United Kingdom Crime Agency and non-government organization International Justice Mission, together inaugurated the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC) inside the Philippine police headquarters Camp Crame in Quezon City, Philippine News Agency reported.

The PICACC aims to fight against online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) through an enhanced global response. Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said that rapid advancements in technology makes OSEC increasingly prevalent in the Philippines.

“This is the very reason why we have cooperation with foreign counterparts like this. We utilize all resources and upgrade our equipment to fight OSEC. At the same time, we have the Anti-Cybercrime Group and the WCPC. We continue to improve our technology for this,” Albayalda said.

The PICACC was established as most cases of child exploitation involved Filipino children being abused by men from other countries. Albayalde said that in many cases, children were sexually violated by or with the cooperation of their own family members. He said he hopes to save more children from criminals and even from their own families.

“With this collaboration, we are now assured of a stronger campaign against crimes against children. This will also give us the opportunity for more enhanced international relationships and fuel the collective effort against (the) online exploitation of children,” he said.

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