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The rise of online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. Filipino children are vulnerable to this rapid growing trafficking crime, with infants as young as two months old at risk.
Yet, most Australians are unaware that this is a serious and common form of human trafficking. Here are a few things you need to know:
- In 2021, the Philippine Government received 2.8 million online tips about alleged activities involving online sexual exploitation of children.
The Philippines is a global hotspot for OSEC, with reports of online abuse skyrocketing. Reports more than tripled between 2014-2017 then tripled again from 2019-2020. This problem was exacerbated by the global pandemic.
- There are an estimated 750,000 predators online right now.
The increase in availability and access to the internet has been a contributing factor in OSEC
across the globe. Before the internet, criminals had to physically go to a bar or brothel to sexually exploit children. Now abusers located anywhere in the world can exploit children without ever leaving their homes. In 2021, over 85 million pieces of abuse material were identified online.
- Australia ranked third behind the US and Sweden when it comes to cases of livestreamed child abuse.
Australian offenders were involved in 18% of all IJM cases in the Philippines. Although Australians are paying as little as $19 to access and direct online child sex abuse, the total funds transferred to the Philippines adds up. One Australian paid a total of $443,000+ to livestream the sexual abuse of Filipino children.
- Australian Federal Police co-founded the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC) alongside Philippine authorities and IJM.
PICACC aims to strengthen global law enforcement collaboration in combatting online sexual exploitation of children, and includes representatives from the Philippines, Australia, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In March 2022, PICACC marked its third year anniversary and over 500 victims brought to safety as a result of international collaboration. Australia may be leading the demand for online sex abuse of children, but we’re also leading the change to end it.
- Over 1,000 children and young people have been rescued from online sex abuse since we began combatting this crime alongside Philippine Authorities in 2011.
On 15 September 2022, an operation freeing 12 children took the total number rescued in IJM-supported cases to 1,000. This is a huge milestone in our work to protect children in the Philippines. 1,000 lives have been taken out of abusive environments into a place of hope, freedom and restoration.
Your support has helped rescue over 1,000 children in the Philippines since 2011. There are many more children at risk of online exploitation that need you to stay in the fight.
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