Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Congress ratifies bicam report on bill against online sexual abuse of kids

Congress has approved the bicameral conference report on the consolidated Senate and House versions of the Anti-Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) Act, according to Agusan del Norte representative Lawrence Fortun.

“[It] is most timely in the light of the continuously rising cases of minors being sexually abused and exploited online,” Fortun said in a statement.

“It is legislation long overdue. The perpetrators are often relatives and neighbors of the victims while the clientele are often those of organized crime groups,” he noted.

The measure, when it is signed into law, would strengthen the capacity of law enforcers in running after perpetrators of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children, Fortun said.

He noted that economic gain is the usual motive as can be seen in the many previous arrests law enforcers have made. “The widespread use of Internet technology, mobile apps, electronic payments, and sometimes online games has fueled the prevalence of OSAEC,” he said.

The law would also hold accountable and liable telecom companies, media platforms, and Internet services providers for their failure to block, remove, and take other proper actions to ensure the prosecution and conviction of the OSAEC perpetrators.  

The ratified bill has a long list of prohibited acts including:

  • To hire, employ, use, persuade, induce, extort, engage, or coerce a child to perform or participate in whatever way in the creation or production of any form of Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Material (CSAEM) or Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM/);
  • To produce, direct, manufacture, facilitate, or create any form of CSAEM, or participate in the production, direction, manufacture, facilitation or creation in the same;
  • To offer, sell, distribute, advertise, promote, export, or import, by any means, any form of CSAEM
  • To knowingly publish, transmit and broadcast, by any means, any form of CSAEM
  • To permit or influence the child to engage, participate or assist in any form of CSAEM;
  • To produce, direct, create, hire, employ or pay a facilitator to stream or livestream acts of child sexual abuse or exploitation;
  • To introduce or match a child to a foreign national or to any person for the purpose of committing any of the offenses under the bill;
  • For film distributors, theaters and ICT services by themselves or in cooperation with other entities, to distribute any form of child sexual abuse and exploitation material or to facilitate the commission of any of the offenses under this Act;
  • To knowingly benefit from, financial or otherwise, the commission of any of the offenses of this Act;
  • To provide a venue for the commission of prohibited acts under this section such as dens, private rooms, cubicles, cinemas, houses, private homes, or other establishments; and
  • To willfully subscribe, join, donate to, or support an Internet site that hosts OSAEC or streaming and/or live-streaming of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • To advertise, publish, print, broadcast or distribute, or cause the advertisement, publication, printing, broadcasting or distribution by any means of any brochure, flyer, or any material that promotes OSAEC and child sexual abuse or exploitation;
  • To possess any form of CSAEM: Provided, That possession of three or more CSAEMs is prima facie evidence of the intent to sell, distribute, publish or broadcast;
  • To willfully access any form of CSAEM.

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