Human trafficking has been a problem in the Philippines for a long time—just like in many parts of the world—and pornography is only fueling this existing issue.
Before we dive in, a bit of background on how trafficking became such a problem in this part of the world.
The Philippines were hit with a pretty hard economic decline in the 1970’s, causing a lot of people to look outside of the country for work. There are currently an estimated 10 million Filipinos living and working abroad.
Many immigrants are promised work in other countries and then go to these countries only to find out that they were being lied to. One of the most frequently used ploys is to tell people that they are going to be “entertainers.” These employees are trained in singing and dancing, but then when they arrive at their destination country, they are instead forced into stripping or prostitution.
These frauded Filipinos are usually trafficked to Korea and Japan, but they are also sold to buyers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Kuwait, Italy, Taiwan, Jordan, some European countries, and the United States.
Although the Philippines is mainly a source country for human trafficking, meaning people are being taken from the Philippines and trafficked into other countries, there is also a lot of trafficking within the country itself.
The United Nations Global Program against Trafficking in Human Beings did a study of government case files of trafficking within the Philippines. Of the 123 victims listed in the report, only three were male. Almost all of these women were between the ages of 18 and 27, though the next largest group was made up of minors.
The trafficking of minors has gone down, but that doesn’t mean that children in the Philippines aren’t being sexually exploited. Here’s what the 2017 state department report had to say:
“Although the availability of child sex trafficking victims in commercial establishments declined in some urban areas, young Filipino girls, boys, and sibling groups are increasingly coerced to perform sex acts for live internet broadcast to paying foreigners; this typically occurs in private residences or small internet cafes and may be facilitated by victims’ family members and neighbors.”
And recently, the Economist published an article about the massive influx of child pornography in the Philippines and the police attempts to stop it which is futile.
According to the article, 55% of people in the Philippines have access to the internet, which is 46% higher than in 2009. That internet increase has created much more access to pornography and much more of a demand for it.
Child cybersex trafficking
Forced labor and sex trafficking of men, women, and children within the country remains a significant problem. A report released by the United Nations agency International Labor Organization (ILO) and the international NGO, the Walk Free Foundation, shows that they estimated that more than 40 million people were victims of modern slavery around the world in 2016. About 25% of those were children. That figure is most likely attributed of the criminal underbelly and railroad of forced slavery namely Sex Trafficking and that figure is much higher today.
It’s pretty much impossible to tell how many victims of online sexual abuse are in the Philippines, but CRI (Child Recovery International) believes it’s getting worse and that the content is getting more hardcore, including videos that feature animals, toddlers, and sometimes even babies.
In the Philippines like dozens of other countries directly links pornography creation and sexual exploitation with human sex trafficking. One woman talked about how her father set up gigs for her to do online pornography and she was eventually sold to a Danish man abroad, who tortured her.
But there is hope in the private law enforcement sector who crack down on the pimps, traffickers and organized crime that is so prevalent.
There are just a handful of organizations that creates sanctuaries for the survivors away from people that could potentially harm them. They also talk about how the best way to help stop sexual exploitation and human trafficking is to inform young people, visiting schools, and trying to suppress the demand, however the reality of slowing down this plague is to identify and shut these criminal enterprises down with stiff sentences. With all good intentions, at the end of the day, it is just talk. Child Recovery International on the other hand takes effective actions with the onset of investigation and intelligence gathering to locate these dens of torture and eliminate not just the agent, the predator and trafficker but to strike at the heart at the criminal organizations that fuel Sex Trafficking.
Supply and demand
Stopping the demand for trafficking and sexual exploitation means standing against a widely accepted habit that fuels it: pornography.
Joining this movement for real love and being a Fighter is much more than fighting against porn in your own life, it’s also fighting against human trafficking. There are countless stories of porn performers thinking they were signing on for one thing and then being forced to do something else. It is attributed wholly to ignorance and naiveite. Forced sexual slavery is where they are coerced, beaten, and abused, and when they don’t want to do comply, they are threatened with being blackmailed, blacklisted, or never being able to work again. Some hold the heads of their families for control of the victim amongst drugs where the victims lost control of their destiny.
Modern sex trafficking and porn are inseparable. It’s time to stop the demand. Are you with us? If you know of a loved one that is missing and might be held as a slave in the sex industry or forced labor, give us a call. We save lives. (www.thelost.net)
About the author: Scott Bernstein is the CEO of Child Recovery International (thelost.net) and Bounty Hunter Training Academy (americanbountyhunter.org) and headquartered in the Research Triangle of North Carolina. He has extensive experience as a Counter Terrorist Consultant, International Apprehension Operative, Human & Sex Trafficking Expert and a Military and Law Enforcement Trainer. He is available as a Consultant and as a Speaker. In addition to his LinkedIn profile, you can also interact with Scott on his LinkedIn group http://bit.ly/1LMp2hj.