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8 children and 1 baby rescued from cybersex trafficking in the Philippines

children, conviction, cybersex trafficking, OSEC, rescue, the Philippines

Written by IJM
Posted on 02 March 2020 under Recent posts, Sex trafficking.

MANILA, Philippines – Eight children were rescued recently from cybersex trafficking in a series of operations led by local law enforcers in two separate locations, Central Luzon and the Calabarzon region.

Angeles, Pampanga

The first operation was conducted on 20 February 2020, in Angeles, Pampanga. Three children were rescued by elements of the Transnational Crime Investigation Task Force (TCITF), the Anti-Trafficking in Person Division (ATIPD), Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) in coordination with the Angeles City Police Office (ACPO), City Social Welfare and Development Office of Angeles (CSWDO). Also supporting the rescue was International Justice Mission (IJM) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The boy and two girls, aged 10, 13 and 16, are siblings exploited online by their 40-year-old mother in exchange for money. Local authorities were able to collect evidence from the scene, including two smart phones, two money transfer receipts and lingerie.

PMAJ Jeorge Francis Rodrin, Commander of the TCITF, says that:

"The increase of cybersex trafficking in our country is indeed frightening, that is why we, police officers, are driven to fight this crime by cooperating with other agencies, be it local or foreign, in order to stop cybersex trafficking in its tracks.”

He further gave the assurance that they will do all they can to rescue more children from the clutches of such perpetrators and bring them to justice.

The erring parent will be charged with committing violations under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, Anti-Child Pornography Act, and Anti-Child Abuse Law.

San Pedro, Laguna

Two days later, another rescue operation was carried out, this time, in San Pedro, Laguna at the Calabarzo region. The Philippine National Police, Women and Children Protection Center and National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Human Trafficking Division together with International Justice Mission and San Pedro City Police station and CSWDO worked together to carry out the rescue.

This resulted in the arrest of another suspect, a 38-year-old female, allegedly abusing 5 minors (4 females and 1 male). Also rescued from the scene was a 25-day-old baby who was deemed at-risk since the child was in a location where criminal online activity was present. Upon investigation, it has been found that the arrested suspect was the biological mother of the baby, together with the male and some of the female victims.

Atty. Rey Bicol, Field office Director of IJM says:

“Cybersex trafficking is indeed a horrific crime which destroys families. We are seeing more younger children - and much worse, siblings - being rescued from sexual abuse perpetrated by their very own parents, but we are confident that with the continuous effort of law enforcement agencies and the community, this crime can be put to a halt.”

PCOL Maria Sheila T. Portento, Chief of the Anti-Human Trafficking in Person Division (ATIPD) adds that: “The Philippine National Police is fully committed to hold those exploiting children online accountable for their crimes. We will not stop until all those exploiting the most vulnerable children are held accountable.” The suspect has been charged with violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, in relation to the Anti-Child Abuse Act and the Cyber-crime Prevention Act of 2012.

The survivors are now in care of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD) and are receiving aftercare interventions to help them overcome their trauma.

So far in IJM-supported cases, more than 80 people have been convicted in the Philippines for cybersex trafficking of children since 2011. IJM has supported Philippine law enforcement agencies in operations that led to the arrest of more than 200 cybersex trafficking perpetrators and the rescue of almost 600 victims and children-at-risk across the country.

Learn more about cybersex trafficking of children here.

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International Justice Mission is a global organisation that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems.

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