Philippines is a global hotspot for online sexual exploitation of children, with eight times more case referrals than other countries. The latest International Justice Mission report also showed that majority of the victims are female with ages ranging from 10 to 15 years and some even under 1 year old. Sadly, a lot of the identified perpetrators are the children’s own parents or close relatives.
This information is alarming knowing that a lot of children are staying home due to the lockdown, with potential perpetrators.
Before the lockdown, our partner Honor 1000, completed Online Safety Campaign sessions in selected ‘hotspot’ schools, reaching a total of 950 primary school students. They also recently conducted a community-wide Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign (HTAC), which was attended by 109 parents. These efforts inform both children and their parents on the dangers of online exploitation and how to avoid it and where to go for help if they ever need it.
Several more community-wide HTAC events were lined up, although these were postponed due to the pandemic. These events will resume once lockdown is lifted and communities’ safety from any health risk is ensured.
Source: International Justice Mission, May 2020. Online Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Philippines: Analysis and Recommendations for Governments, Industry and Civil Society.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Over the next months, we’ll see a surge of human trafficking and cybersex crime cases as this current pandemic pushes a lot of vulnerable people into desperate measures. Check out the links below to know how you can help!
You can also sign up for our August 2020 Stop Trafficking 5K event and setup your own fundraiser:
US$50, we can fund one cyber safety training session for 50 students or 30 moms US$500, we can fund one complete cyber safety program for 50 students US$5,000, co-sponsor an entire program for a high-risk school (with over 500 students)
16 Children Rescued from Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation
16 children have been rescued from online sexual abuse and exploitation. Most of them experienced the abuse from their own families and relatives. These children are now safe in our shelter, receiving the counselling and support they need to start rebuilding their lives.
Times are still difficult for many in the Philippines during this time of pandemic. But we continue to be amazed by the women from the Microfinance Program who never ceased working hard to provide for their families.
The prolonged pandemic in the Philippines has created issues that required necessary adjustments, especially for the women and children in The Blessed Project who are still in school and/or have ongoing court cases.