The Philippines, the UK and Australia have launched the first international centre to battle the online exploitation of Filipino children.
The combined law enforcement agencies opened the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC) at Camp Crame police headquarters today (Wednesday, February 27).
The ribbon cutting was led by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson and UK National Crime Agency Asia Pacific Commander Mark Bishop.
“With the rapid rise of technology, the online exploitation of children is increasingly becoming prevalent in the country,” Albayalde said in his speech.
The PICACC is envisioned to be a centre for cooperation towards rescuing children from sexual exploitation, trafficking, violence and other crimes. It so far encompassing the following agencies:
- Philippine National Police
- National Bureau of Investigation
- Australian Federal Police (AFP)
- United Kingdom National Crime Agency
The centre will also be supported by the human rights organisation International Justice Mission, which works worldwide to end the exploitation of children.
AFP Assistant Commissioner and National Manager for Crime Operations Debbie Platz, said the PICACC would be a hub for domestic Philippine and foreign law enforcement collaborative efforts to combat the online sexual exploitation of children.
“In time, this will become a South-East Asian regional ‘centre of excellence’ for this crime type,” she said.
PNP chief Albayalde pointed out that in many cases, children were being exploited by their own families, even their parents. With the new centre providing greater focus on the crime, he said he hoped to save more children from criminals and even 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 online exploitation of children,” he said.
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