There are between 1.2 million to 1.8 million children being sex-trafficked worldwide every year. In the Philippines, there are estimated around 60,000 to 100,000 children involved in prostitution. This is according to the UNICEF data. Some of the major reasons for this problem are poverty, lack of public infrastructure, and sex tourism. In Mindanao, for example, children are being trafficked to major cities and neighboring countries such as Malaysia and Japan, usually being subjected to exploitative labors and sex works in tourist areas. Most of these children are promised jobs as either domestic helpers or entertainers in big cities; just wanting to help their families out of poverty and hunger.
Today, child trafficking is still one of the main problems the country is facing especially with the rapidly growing advancement of technology and social media. People involved in this crime can now operate efficiently through the internet especially if these individuals or organizations are very sophisticated in terms of computer and internet skills. Fortunately, many sectors of the government and non-government organizations are also doing a great job to fight this kind of exploitation to children via the internet. This is also part of the success of the legislative called “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (Republic Act 10364)” in the Philippines that was implemented in May of 2003. According to UNICEF, “the law mandates the establishment of the “National Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT)”.
Since then many traffickers and children’s rights violators have been arrested and indicted. However, further efforts are still needed in combating this problem in the Philippines as many crimes related to child sex trafficking are still ongoing. For example, in August of 2019, a male pedophile from Kansas named Anthony Shultz was arrested and charged for 84 years in prison for making child porn and having sex with minors here in the Philippines. The suspect “pleaded guilty to three counts of producing child pornography in July 2018 before U.S. District Judge Eric F. Melgren of the District of Kansas”. According to the report, Shultz recorded his sexual intercourse with two minors, 12 and 15 years old, in the Philippines and brought the videos to Kansas and also sold the videos online. He was also found guilty to have produced a video of an 8-year-old girl through Skype.
Meanwhile, last February 7, 2020, a 22-year-old Filipina from Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu was sentenced to 17 years and 4 months in prison for online sex trafficking. She was arrested in August of 2017 for offering to exploit a minor online to paying foreign sex offenders. The suspect was prosecuted under RA 10364, the Cybercrime Prevention Act (Republic Act 10175), and Anti-Child Abuse Act (Republic Act 7610). In addition, she was also ordered to pay Php 1M for fines.
It seems like a battle to end this suffering is not yet over. If you want to take action and help on this issue, you can visit or contact these websites/organizations:
CALLED TO RESCUE: https://www.calledtorescue.com.ph/
Philippines Against Child Trafficking-PACT: https://www.facebook.com/antichildtrafficking.phils/
DESTINY RESCUE: https://www.destinyrescue.org/us/countries/philippines/
PREDA Foundation, Inc. : https://www.preda.org/contact-us/
- Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking
- Philippines cybersex crackdown sparks concern over care for child victims
- Cebu court convicts 22-year-old Filipina for trafficking children
- Kansas man gets 84 years for making child porn in PH