January’s trafficking convictions, secured in courts across the Philippines, held four Filipinas accountable for abusing and exploiting children, and sharing that abuse with predators around the world who were willing to pay.
The Philippine government receives thousands of cybersex trafficking case referrals like these every month—cases in which paying customers around the world can easily connect online with an adult in the Philippines who has access to vulnerable children. With just an internet connection and a webcam or mobile device, these traffickers in the Philippines abuse boys and girls, or force them to perform sex acts, for the foreign customers who are paying to watch.
Tragically, the cases reaching judgment last month represent more than a dozen young survivors—the youngest only 3 years old.
She added that she is committed to healing and reaching for her dream of becoming an engineer.
Gabrielle*, whose mother pleaded guilty to trafficking and child pornography charges, shared that her prayer was answered when she was 15—when IJM and officers from the Philippine National Police were able to find and rescue her. “I prayed that the abuse would stop,” she said in her native language of Cebuano. “[The abuse] started five years before I was rescued.”
A 31 January ruling sentenced another young woman to 15 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to trafficking two girls.
* A pseudonym.
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.Find out more
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