Police Rescue Three Children from Cybersex Trafficking in Back-to-Back Operations

2018, Cebu, cybersex trafficking, rescue, Southeast Asia, the Philippines

Written by IJM
Posted on 29 April 2018 under Recent posts, Sex trafficking.

CEBU, THE PHILIPPINES
27 April 2018

IJM’s team in Cebu supported two successful operations this week that brought three young girls to safety and led to the arrest of a suspected trafficker.

The suspect had offered to sexually abuse the girls—ages 6, 9 and 11—and to livestream the abuse for customers overseas to watch. She had even boasted of having access to a handful of children whom she could abuse for viewers online.

A small gate of wood and tin sheets leads to the suspected trafficker’s house.
The suspect’s home in Cordova, where she would abuse children in front of a webcam in exchange for money from foreign paedophiles.

Cybersex trafficking often victimises young children, and the Philippines has become a hotspot for this global crime. Customers located anywhere in the world can pay to watch and direct live sexual abuse of children over the internet. The crime is happening in secret across the Philippines, where children are abused in front of a webcam or the camera of a smart phone.

There has been little accountability for the traffickers, but this week’s arrest is a sign of change—and of a safer future for vulnerable children in the Philippines.

On Monday, April 23, Philippine law enforcement and social services entered the suspect’s home in the small town of Cordova, located just outside of Metro Cebu. Officials arrested the Filipina, and IJM and government social workers were there to bring the children out of the home and explain that they weren’t in trouble; that they were safe. Two young boys were also brought out of the home to assess whether they, too, were victims. Police executed a search warrant and collected evidence. Among the items found in her home were a flat screen TV and several smart phones.

Social workers will interview the rescued victims and assess their needs for aftercare.
Philippine government social workers escort the children outside of the house.

The group quickly conducted a follow-up operation in Talisay City, travelling an hour to find and rescue the third victim. The three girls are now safe in the protective custody of Philippine social services. Rescued victims of cybersex trafficking will need much care, including therapy, medical attention and a safe place to live. IJM and our partners will continue to walk alongside these rescued children to make sure they have what they need to heal, grow and thrive.

The suspect was charged on Wednesday with human trafficking charges. IJM’s lawyers in Cebu will support the prosecution to ensure that justice is secured for these children.

International Justice Mission protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors and strengthen justice systems. Our team has helped local officials combat sexual exploitation and abuse of children in the Philippines since 2001, and together we've brought hundreds of children and young women to freedom.

Become an IJM Freedom Partner to protect children from cybersex trafficking and violence around the world.

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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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