If your word association for the Philippines is volcanic islands or white sand beaches fringed with palm trees, you’re on the right track. But that’s only part of the story. While it’s rightfully known for its charming, happy-go-lucky people and the allure of its 7,000 tropical islands, this Southeast Asian country has a darker side.
Just like 166 other countries in our world today, the Philippines has a strong presence of human trafficking. At least 400,000 Filipinos live in slavery today, forced to work on fishing vessels, in factories and fields, in prostitution and as child soldiers. 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 then 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.
This article originally appeared on RELEVANT. Read the full article here>>