Growth of online child sex abuse in the Philippines exacerbated by "parentless children " phenomenon.
An article in Global Citizen (June 2016), detailing the furious growth in the Philippines of the billion-dollar industry that is webcam child sex tourism (WCST), highlights migrant work as a contributing factor to the ease with which the latter is spreading. 10 million Filipinos (overall population 92 million) work outside of their native country in the long-term, leaving an estimated 9 million children at home to be looked after by grandparents, neighbours and others. Many of these children find themselves coerced or persuaded into performing sex acts before a camera (laptop or phone), to be live-streamed for a paying customer. In a country where 18 million people live below the poverty line of US$1.25 a day the 'easy money' to be made (between US$5-200 per 'show') is too great a lure for some to resist. The demand is insatiable and the awful truth is that the extreme poverty which forced the parents of these children to go abroad is now putting their children at risk on the home front too. Child sexual exploitation steals the formative years of childhood away and continues the cycle of poverty (sexualisation, prostitution, addiction, early death) that so many are trying to break.