Slavery in the Philippines is not a new concept. But with the proliferation of technology reaching even the most remote villages, the Philippines is now becoming the global epicenter for the online sexual exploitation of children.
A haven for pedophiles and porn users, this form of cybersex allows anonymous viewers to pay as little as $5 or $10 for a live-streamed “show” featuring a child, sometimes as young as 2 or 3 years old, who is sexually abused according to the client’s specifications.
What’s even harder to digest is that many of these cybersex businesses are operated by families.
Children are being victimized in their own home—sometimes by a parent or a sibling.
Why and how does it happen?
Human trafficking starts at the breakdown of relationships, usually in the home. Children who are sexually exploited online are four times more likely to come from homes with poverty, addictions, neglect, domestic violence and low levels of education.
Change DOES need to come from the macro-level: improved legislation, strengthened judicial system, and an increase in child welfare professionals. But where holistic, restorative change STARTS is in relationships and community – the ultimate source of our world’s brokenness.
That’s where we believe the church comes into play: to bring good news to the poor, to comfort the brokenhearted, to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.
And that’s exactly what our team in the Philippines is seeking to do.
Watch the video below to learn more about how our Filipino leaders are mobilizing Free Methodist churches around the country to be compassionate and informed responders to human trafficking, especially the online sexual exploitation of children.
Some other areas we hope we can help are:
- providing support for social workers to help meet the gap of inadequate trained professionals addressing child exploitation in the Philippines
- creating awareness of the need for foster families through the church and providing greater support to existing foster families
- partnering with agencies that are helping male survivors, since there is a shortage of shelters and services for boys
Please pray with us as we pursue these opportunities. Consider giving to our work in the Philippines today.