The child victims of WCST

An article in DW (Deutsche Welle, a German international broadcaster) details the “booming cybersex industry” in the Philippines and includes a video report from there on the work of one foundation (PREDA) trying to help child victims of it.

February 2016

The reporter details how, even in isolated fishing and farming villages, children are being forced by family or their neighbors to perform sexual acts in front of web cameras for live streaming on the Internet. These videos are ordered and paid for by pedophiles, mostly in foreign countries. The business has become so lucrative that some villagers have given up fishing and factory work. Human rights groups now estimate that tens of thousands of children in the Philippines are forced into webcam sex shows in Internet cafes or in their homes. Some families have only a laptop but that is enough to get a start in the cybersex industry. With this they can earn between $10-$100 per show which is a large sum in a country where 60% of the population earn $2 a day.

Although the child sexual abuse is sometimes reported to law enforcement agencies, the police need a warrant to raid a private house and the process can be very slow, as can the subsequent prosecution of culprits.

One organization helping children who have been rescued in police raids on cybersex dens is the PREDA foundation. The reporter visits this care center for former victims and interviews a counsellor there about the long term effect this abuse has had on the children and what they do to help the children build up trust and relationships again. These children are often sexualized at a very young age and have a skewed attitude to relationships, making it extremely difficult for them to integrate into normal schools again. Through counselling and therapy the foundation helps them to deal with their past experiences and re-enter education and society.


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