/ 19 April 2022

ANTIQUE Rep. Loren Legarda on Monday called for a stricter implementation of laws protecting children and women from illegal human trade.

“Easy access to the internet and technological advancements have now been utilized by unscrupulous individuals for illegal activities preying on the vulnerability and innocence of women and children,” Legarda said.

The co-author of the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act and principal sponsor and co-author of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act called for the stringent implementation of the laws and massive information dissemination and education campaigns against all forms of abuse, including sexual exploitation, human trafficking and prostitution and cyber pornography, among others.

“The Internet is supposed to make life easier and help get things done faster, but we cannot deny the existence of those who take advantage of technological advancements to spread false information and to use it as an avenue for human trafficking and abuse,” Legarda stressed.

She noted that violence against women and children is one of the most pervasive human rights abuses in the country despite the existence of laws aimed to prevent it.

The former senator, who also co-authored the Magna Carta of Women, said that abuse is not acceptable and individuals should be punished for violating the rights of women and children.

Legarda said that with emerging technologies, law enforcement agencies also need to keep up with the new methods and devices used by criminals, including the use of Smartphones.

She stressed that authorities need a comprehensive technical support and assistance in the fight against cybercrimes.

“With the presence of technology, an individual’s life can change with just one click of a button or key. Anyone can post malicious rumors and create baseless stories online and may cause permanent psychological, physical and emotional scars that may haunt them for the rest of their lives. We need to curb cybercrimes and all forms of abuse and violence against women and children. We need to strengthen our efforts and track down offenders with a sense of urgency,” Legarda said.