Advocates are alarmed over the prevalence of online or cyber prostitution that mostly victimise children.
What is more alarming, according to Jeanette Laurel Ampog, the executive director of Talikala, is the fact that the victims are lured by the clients to look for other potential prostitutes — also children.
The youngest documented child prostitute in Davao City in only 9.
The trade, she said, is done through Facebook and text.
“This is very alarming and at the same time, challenging for us because we see children exposing other children to sexual abuse,” Ampog told journalists in a press conference Monday.
A child prostitute can earn between $1 to $30.
“These children need immediate intervention and guidance,” she said. “This has to be stopped.”
Children get into prostitution for various reasons, but Ampog said that one of the reasons is because they want to escape from an abusive situation at home.
Around 80 percent of prostituted women, Ampog said, experienced sexual abuse and other forms of violations from home. Many of them are also victims of natural disasters — which make them vulnerable to trafficking.
Pro-women’s rights lawmaker Luzvimnda Ilagan, quoting a 2012 Philippine National Report, there about 15,969 cases of violence against women and their children. Of the said cases, 5,180 were attempted rape of 3,861 children and minors.
Through the online project of Dutch nongovernment organisation Terre des Hommes, at least 20,000 pedophiles have been exposed and tracked at least 1000 through the virtual 10-year-old Filipino girl Sweetie.
Ilagan said Sweetie represents the thousands of Filipino girls who are vulnerable to abuse.
Gabriela Women’s Party has filed House Resolution 453 to look into the prevalence of cyber prostitution in the Philippines. | JMT, NewsDesk