Human Trafficking

The Situation in the Philippines

The Philippines are an integral part of the criminal network of human traffickers. The island country confirms that the majority of the identified trafficking victims were abused with the purpose of sexual exploitation, forced prostitution and pornography. For years, the Philippines have been a travel destination for sex tourists, who travel to the country explicitly for this reason. Known hot-spots of pedophiliac sex tourism are Cebu City, Boracay and Angeles City, among others. Child pornography is another massive problem in the Philippines.




According to data from ECPAT, up to 100,000 children in the Philippines are trafficked every year, either within the country or supraregionally. As a result, according to estimates, over 75,000 minors are thought to be commercially exploited by the sex industry. Technological advances and global networking exacerbate the problem further: due to the increasing prevalence of smartphones and improved Internet access, the production and sale of child-pornographic photographs and videos is now much easier and faster. Due to lack of awareness, new forms of prostitution are spreading rapidly. One example: cyberprostitution, in which children are marketed via online streaming or in photographic and video material. The Philippines national police force has a special unit for fighting cybercrime. In 2014, this unit sounded the alarm: it identified the Philippines as one of the top 10 suppliers of child-pornographic material on the Internet. According to investigations by the unit, the centers of these criminal networks are in Manila, Angeles City, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro.

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