Last week, ECPAT International and ECPAT Taiwan attended the 2nd ASEAN Conference on working towards a Cyber Pornography and Cyber Prostitution Free South East Asia in Tagbilaran City, Philippines. During the four-day conference, ECPAT made a presentation on ways to combat child pornography and exploitation in the online context.
Technology is continuously changing and as a result child exploiters are constantly finding new ways to abuse children. This reality makes it all the more important for countries to exchange knowledge on how to combat online sexual exploitation as well as identify gaps and challenges in the ongoing fight against cyber pornography and prostitution.
Both poverty and a lack of comprehensive laws in the region contribute to the ease at which violators are able to abuse children. Aggravating the problem is a lack of public awareness on the issue as well as unwillingness on the part of cyber café operators to cooperate and share user information.
The Conference was attended by ten ASEAN countries and included representatives from law enforcement, the technology and communication industry and social welfare workers. All ten countries intend to work together for the common goal of a cyber prostitution and cyber pornography free South East Asia.