Legarda seeks Senate concurrence on int’l cybercrime treaty

Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, sponsored on Monday, Feb. 13, a resolution seeking the Senate’s concurrence in the ratification of Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.

Sen. Loren Legarda

The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime aims to address the threats posed by cybercrime and facilitates multilateral cooperation and enhanced collective capability to suppress cybercrime.

The treaty was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe during its 109th Session on November 8, 2001 and was opened for signature on November 23, 2001. It entered into force on July 1, 2004.

To date, the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime remains the sole binding international legal mechanism adopted by countries to address the threats posed by cybercrime.

With 56 states parties ratifying the treaty, as of September 2017, the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime has facilitated multilateral cooperation and enhanced collective capability to interdict and/or suppress cybercrime.

As a ground-breaking international legal framework on cybercrime, the convention has produced numerous significant best practices and has spurred even non-signatory countries to adhere to some of its provisions.

A major feature of the convention is the track towards the harmonization of domestic legal procedures of state parties, with the intention of, among others, addressing the emergence of so-called “safe havens”.

These “areas” are created when certain activities are not criminalized in a specific country. This results in individuals and/or organized groups being able to act with impunity in committing offenses in these countries.

“This treaty is very important to protect our people from cybercrime especially since the country is the number one haven for those committing child pornography,” said Legarda.

According to the Unicef, the Philippines is the number one global source of child pornography and a hub for the live-stream sexual-abuse trade. Around 8 out of every 10 Filipino children are at risk of online sexual abuse or bullying.

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