Cybersex trafficking is a form of modern slavery that was unimaginable before the digital age.
Cybersex trafficking is the live sexual abuse of children streamed via the internet, set up by adults who receive online payments from predators and pedophiles located anywhere in the world.
Before the internet, customers had to travel to the Philippines. Traffickers recruited vulnerable teens and coerced them to work in bars or clubs. Now, pedophiles and predators can enter the homes of Filipino children through a simple internet connection. Victims tend to be young—some under 2 years old—and the traffickers tend to be trusted family members who earn quick cash by exploiting children in their care.
Since IJM started working in the Philippines in 2000, the government has made rapid strides to stop traffickers from exploiting children in the commercial sex trade—closing bars that sell minors for sex and bringing pimps to justice.
Studies have shown the number of minors available for purchase on streets and in bars once notorious for sex trafficking has plummeted between 75% and 86% in the cities where IJM has worked.
Now the authorities need specialized training on cyber-investigations and how to care for young survivors of cybersex trafficking. This crime will keep spreading until communities start to see consequences and traffickers setting up the sexual exploitation of children are restrained.
Our Work Happens By
We partner with Philippine officials and international law enforcement agencies to identify and rescue children who are being sexually exploited in footage broadcast online.
Bringing Criminals to Justice
We collaborate with government prosecutors to ensure traffickers and others facilitating the abuse are brought to justice under Philippines laws.
We create customized care plans for each survivor, and we work with the government social services agency and private aftercare providers to ensure children have a safe place to grow up in freedom.
Strengthening Justice Systems
Building on the strong success of our programs to combat child sex trafficking (2000–2015), we continue to advise, mentor and train officials so that impunity ends for criminals and children are protected from cybersex trafficking.
The number of children available for commercial sex plummeted by 86% in the four years that IJM worked alongside authorities in Pampanga.
The number of children available for commercial sex plummeted by 75% in Metro Manila, after seven years of IJM's work alongside authorities.
After four years of IJM's partnership with local authorities in Cebu, the Philippines, outside auditors documented a stunning 79% decrease in the availability of children for commercial sex.
In partnership with local law enforcement, we have rescued more than 1,275 children and women from sex trafficking in the Philippines.