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In 2011, IJM Philippines was one of the first organisations globally to identify a new form of child abuse and trafficking – online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC). Since then, IJM has supported the police to rescue victims, conducted research on the scope and nature of this crime, and assessed the restorative support needed by survivors.
IJM is now leading a national-level program to end OSEC in the Philippines. Here are a few milestones from 2022:
- The launch of “Project Boost” – an IJM partnership with Meta
IJM have recently begun partnering with Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp) and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to take the OSEC fight beyond the Philippines.
“Project Boost” is a law enforcement capacity-building project to strengthen responses to CyberTipline reports in select countries.
Two online child sex abuse victims have been identified and a suspect arrested by Project Boost-trained Kenyan authorities. Earlier this November, Kenyan investigators participated in a week-long training and investigative workshop focused on critical skills to identify and investigate cases of online child sex abuse.
It is encouraging to see Kenyan authorities putting their training into action – and seeing it bear fruit almost immediately. Thanks to this partnership, there is one less suspected predator on the loose in Kenya. This is just the beginning of more freedom and more protection for children around the world.
- Over 1,000 children and young people have been rescued from online sex abuse since 2011.
On 15 September, an operation freeing 12 children took the total number rescued in IJM-supported cases to over 1,000. This is a huge milestone in our work to protect children in the Philippines. Over 1,000 lives have been taken out of abusive environments into a place of hope, freedom and restoration.
- 321 suspects have been arrested for facilitating online child sex abuse.
Online child sex abuse is dark and confronting – but it is not hopeless. IJM works with the Philippine Government against this crime, providing support to law enforcement agencies in rescue operations and the investigation of suspects.
- 286 clients have been restored through IJM’s aftercare program.
Freedom doesn’t end with rescue. It is only when each rescued survivor is fully restored that justice is fully served. In partnership with the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development, IJM supports the care of each survivor and walks alongside them on their journey from rescue to restoration.
Your support makes this work possible. There are many more children at risk of online exploitation that need you to stay in the fight.
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