The Covid19 pandemic, with its lockdowns and school closures have left children at home with poor parents, desperate to make money.
‘Images and videos of child sexual abuse have ballooned into a billion-dollar industry in the Philippines, now the world’s largest-known source of such exploitation. Grinding poverty, high-speed internet access and an ability to accept instructions in English have all kept it going.’ reports the BBC.
‘Fr. Shay Cullen, the founder of Preda, has been fighting for the rights of abused children in the Philippines since 1974. He wants a global solution to this new and growing problem.’
“There has to be [an] international law. This is the only way. All national governments need to really put restrictions on the internet corporations. They must co-operate to restrict the passage of child abuse material and the online streaming of the sexual abuse of children.”‘
‘Things are changing, he agrees – but slowly.’
‘But that’s only one part of the war. For organisations like Preda, the bigger battle lies in rehabilitating the children.’
Preda has used a form of emotional release therapy , called primal, for decades to help children cope with the emotional impact of physical and sexual abuse.
‘But they are struggling for resources. Their centre near Manila can only afford to take around 100 children a year. But so many more need help.’