Filipino girls on webcam cyber chatting
And Filipino abusers and paying clients, from Australia to Canada to Germany, are outfoxing law enforcement by mixing up payment methods, turning to cryptocurrencies, and broadcasting over encrypted livestreams which cannot be traced by police.
The crime is not only growing in the Philippines, but across the region, from Cambodia to Vietnam, as the standard of English and access to technology and internet improves, activists said.
The Southeast Asian nation receives at least 3,000 reports per month from other countries of possible cases of its children being sexually exploited online - a number which has tripled in the last three years - according to its justice department.
Yet the crime is difficult to police as most victims are exploited by their own relatives in a country with very high levels of sex abuse within families and a culture of silence in communities that stops people speaking out, campaigners say.
Yet contradictions between various laws, few convictions for cybersex trafficking, and the fact the age of sexual consent is 12 have all fueled long-entrenched impunity, campaigners warn.
“People are not aware of the severity of the crime ...
“This makes tracking them more difficult - it is a challenge to gather digital evidence,” he added, explaining how anti-money laundering and cybercrime officials help police to chase leads.
Web and online money companies must do more to spot abusers, yet criminals can easily jump between platforms, said a U. investigator who tackles cybersex trafficking in the country.
“But we have seen some awful cases where children have been tortured over webcam.” Driving through the narrow, winding streets of a crowded slum in Manila, local police investigators pointed to rows of ramshackle homes crowned with gleaming white satellite dishes.At least 40 percent of the Filipino population had access to the internet as of 2015, up from a quarter in 2010, and about 5 percent in 2005, according to World Bank data.Activists are trying to challenge community-wide complicity in the crime by encouraging local council and church leaders, neighborhood watch groups and social workers to report abuses.“I was forced to do things you could not imagine a 16-year-old having to endure.” Ruby is not a rare case but one of a rising number of ever-younger victims of cybersex trafficking - a form of modern-day slavery where children are abused and raped over livestreams.The Philippines is seen by rights groups as the epicenter of the growing trade, which they say has been fueled by access to cheap internet and technology, the high level of English, well-established money wiring services and rampant poverty.