“We think that what we are seeing, what we are dealing with, is a small part of what is out there,” she said. Big business.” Children are made to perform around the clock, with morning live-streams catering to Europeans and Americans, and later in the day, an Australian-based clientele.
The number of ongoing live-streaming criminal cases in the Philippines is rising, from 57 in 2013, growing to 89 in 2014, and up to 167 in 2015.
One indication of how much is being missed is the number of “cybertips”, reports of sexual exploitation against children collected by the US-based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
A live webcam feed on the computer screen showed the faces of three white men glaring out.
, a slang term for a Filipina sex worker living in Japan, she had persuaded a resident to introduce her to the children, who played daily in the gravel streets.
And while children have historically testified against sex traffickers in court, they have proved unwilling to incriminate their parents.
Children see abuse as normal In the 2011 case, the police thought the children would welcome the operation.
‘It is big money’ Stephanie Mc Court, the south-east Asia liaison officer for the UK’s National Crime Agency, said the Philippines provided a perfect storm to allow the crime to develop, with its entrenched poverty and high level of internet access for a developing country.
But there is one thing that she said was absolutely key: a widespread knowledge of the English language. After we’d been scratching our heads, the penny dropped,” she said.
When Philippine police smashed into the one-bedroom house, they found three girls aged 11, seven and three lying naked on a bed.
At the other end of the room stood the mother of two of the children – the third was her niece – and her eldest daughter, aged 13, who was typing on a keyboard.
The Dutch NGO Terre des Hommes analysed the industry by constructing a virtual 10-year-old Filipino girl called “Sweetie” and used the computer model to entrap more than 1,000 adults who paid for her to perform sex acts.
The charity identified adults from more than 71 countries seeking out Sweetie’s services.
All six of the mother’s children – three boys and three girls – were moved to a rescue centre, a row of one-storey houses on a quiet path set back from the noise of the main roads.