London, Ont., November 14, 2017 – Nine (9) children in the Philippines are now safe from cybersex trafficking after being rescued by the Philippines National Police in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies, supported by International Justice Mission (IJM) and acting on a referral from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). A Saskatchewan man is among the foreign perpetrators.
The nine (9) children ages 2, 3, 3, 6, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 9 years old are all victims of cybersex trafficking, a form of human trafficking rampant in the Philippines that is devastating the lives of young and vulnerable Filipino children. Cybersex trafficking is the live-streaming sexual exploitation of children viewed over the internet.
Seven of the rescued victims are girls and two are boys. The rescued children are now safe in protective custody.
"Cybersex trafficking is a global crime that traverses national borders. This is a crime that requires a global response from police forces worldwide working together. We are so grateful that a referral from the RCMP helped achieve the rescue of nine children by the Philippine National Police and local authorities,” says Ed Wilson, Executive Director of International Justice Mission Canada.
In addition to the rescued children, a suspected trafficker was also arrested during the operation. If convicted, the suspect could face a mandatory life sentence.
The arrested suspect allegedly produced and sent sexually explicit images of very young children via social media to foreigners overseas in exchange for money, including one Saskatchewan man who was sentenced to 12 years in jail on Tuesday for his involvement in the crime. Read the RCMP press release.
During the rescue operation, the suspect was caught by police in the act of offering to perform sex acts on her own 8 year-old daughter and "live-stream” those sex acts from her home. The suspect allegedly hid her daughter from police, but they were able to find her in the home.
"Law enforcement is actively tracking down victims of [cybersex trafficking] wherever they are, so that these vulnerable children can live a childhood free from perverse sexual exploitation and abuse at the hands of their own parents, relatives and neighbours,” states IJM Cebu Field Office Director, Atty. John Tanagho.
Cybersex trafficking of children is growing at an alarming rate. Of 60 countries investigated by Cybertip.ca, Canada ranked in the top three for hosting websites and images, and selling material containing child sexual abuse.
Learn more about IJM’s efforts to protect children from cybersex trafficking.
About International Justice Mission Canada:
International Justice Mission is a global organization protecting the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. International Justice Mission Canada shares in this mission. Learn more at IJM.ca
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
519-679-5030 x. 229