Three-term Senator and now Senatorial candidate Loren Legarda called for stricter implementation of women and child protection laws to put a stop to exploitation, abuse, and 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.

       Legarda, 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, said that there should be more 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 further stressed.

       In her previous statements, Legarda 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 three-term Senator who also co-authored the Magna Carta of Women, said that abuse is not acceptable, that women and children have legal rights and individuals should be punished for violating these rights.

        “We have diligently toiled to enact vital pieces of legislation to protect the rights of women and children and to promote their welfare. The greater challenge is to effectively implement these laws and educate them on their rights. Filipino women and children around the country should be aware that they are sufficiently protected under various laws,” Legarda said.

       The three-term Senator and co-author of the Cybercrime prevention Act also said that law enforcement must use both new and traditional policing techniques. 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.

        “To strengthen our battle against any form of violence and abuse, especially online, we need to voice our concerns louder, raise awareness, forge public-private partnerships and generate better anti-cybercrime strategies with a broader cyber security perspective. Let us save our women and children, give them a life free from abuse and violence because they deserve to live their lives peacefully and securely,” Legarda concluded.

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