UN study cites PH as ‘cybersex hub’ in Southeast Asia

The United Nations (UN) has released a study that cited the Philippines and several other countries as major hubs for organized cybersex; sounding an alarm for both local and international communities.

The research, which is entitled “Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism,” aimed to analyze how technological advancements are utilized in the rampant spread of children’s sexual abuse at a global perspective.

“With the click of a button, offenders can have children ‘delivered’ to their hotel room or anywhere else they choose,” the report stated; adding that the said manner of sex trade which utilizes the social media was close to “impossible 20 years ago.”

The Philippines has been identified as a key hub in Asia; having tens of thousands of children who have been involved in “webcam child sex tourism,” while South Korea was recorded to sport a 95 percent rate in the utilization of the internet in child pornography.

Last month, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has rescued at least six cybersex victims in General Trias City, Cavite after gaining information from the Interpol and the Norwegian police force.

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The victims aged between 9 to 16 years old were recovered inside a cybersex den, which was apparently operated by the children’s relatives.

It was the Norwegian police who informed the NBI about the den’s operations, which also involves the selling of naked photographs of the children and other pornographic materials.

“We gave the NBI the location of the seller of pics of Filipino children. This is saddening, considering the traumatic effect on the kids,” said Special Prosecutor Marit Bekkevi of Norway.

Among the rescued victims, one child turned out to be the daughter of the operators, who were identified as couple Marvin Lorenzo at Carolina Muzar.

The suspects are now facing criminal charges for violating Republic Act 9775 also known as the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, Republic Act 10364 also known as the Expanded Anti-Traf­ficking in Persons Act of 2012, Republic Act 7610 also known as the Anti-Child Abuse Law, and Republic Act 10175 also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, while the victims are handed over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).