Philippines, production center of material related to child sexual abuse
The women’s group Gabriela expressed grave alarm over the recent news that the Philippines is the production “center” of material related to the sexual abuse of children.
According to an investigation by the International Justice Mission in 2023, one in every 100 children or almost half a million Filipino children are abused in online video live-streaming and the dissemination of their photos and videos where they are made to do obscene acts for the sexual gratification of adults. The prevalence of this abuse is driven by “demand” primarily by pedophiles from the US, followed by the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Europe.
“This alarming situation is the result of a decades-long and widespread “syndicate system” in which the vulnerability and exploitation of children is considered profitable,” according to Gabriela’s statement today, February 10.
Crime has reached this level due to the neglect and inaction of the Philippine state. In 2017, Unicef reported that eight out of ten Filipino children “are at risk of online sexual abuse or bullying.” The Philippines has long been the center of child pornography around the world.
Child pornography is a “billion dollar industry” that makes money by having children (mostly Filipinos) perform sexual acts in front of the camera. In a Unicef study, children pimped online end up in physical prostitution.
According to Gabriela, sexual abuse and exploitation of children, and other forms of violence against women and children are not only a problem for women and children. More than this, it is also an issue that the entire Filipino society must face, especially those in power who have the responsibility of defending the rights of child victims of any violence.
In the last 15 years, cases of online child sexual abuse material or CSAM have increased by 15,000%. Most of the victims are between the ages of 3 and 12 years old. Most of the families involved in the crime of child pimping are from poor urban and rural communities.
Despite these reports, the Marcos regime, as well as the Duterte regime before it, has taken not a single step to curb the spread of child pornography and defend its victims. Contrary to claims that the SIM Card registration law enacted in 2023 will solve online crimes, the number of these cases continued to increase.