U.S. and Philippines Train Prosecutors and Investigators to Combat Online Sexual Exploitation of Children

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and Philippine Department of Justice Assistant Secretary George Ortha II with the prosecutors and investigators at the training.

Davao City, June 21, 2019 — The U.S. Embassy in the Philippines partnered with the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the International Justice Mission (IJM) to train 60 prosecutors and investigators in combatting online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) from June 17 to 20 in Davao City.  The training was implemented through the U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ) Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance, and Training (OPDAT).

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim opened the four-day workshop by thanking the prosecutors and investigators for their participation and recognizing the collaborative efforts of the U.S. and Philippine governments.

The training combined lectures, in-depth discussions, and practical exercises.  U.S. and Philippine experts reviewed relevant laws, provided case studies, and shared insights and best practices.  Visiting experts from the U.S. DOJ Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Trial Attorney Kaylynn Shoop and Digital Investigative Analyst Joshua Storey, shared U.S. best practices on investigation, digital forensic analysis, and prosecution of OSEC cases.

Training participant Prosecutor Pagdilao-Flores noted, “A coordinated criminal justice response system among different stakeholders is essential to effectively implement the laws meant to address the crime.”

This training is part of an on-going series to provide investigators and prosecutors nationwide with tools to effectively prove OSEC crimes.  It is part of the U.S. Embassy’s effort, through OPDAT, to enhance justice sector capabilities to combat transnational crimes.

From June 26 to 27, 2019, OPDAT will partner with the Philippine Supreme Court’s Sub-Committee on Commercial Courts and the Philippine Judicial Academy to conduct the next in the series of cybercrime trainings for judges.