On the ground freedom fighters battle child cybersex exploitation
Today I had the privilege of joining the IJM field office in Manila, where the local Filipino team is spearheading one of the leading global effort to fight child cybersex exploitation.
Sadly, the Filipino government receives 20,000 tips each month from the FBI and international police bodies pointing to cybersex criminal activity originating here — they are overwhelmed and not yet able to keep up. 50% of the victims are under the age of 12, and 77% of the perpetrators are parents, relatives, or close friends of the victims. IJM is helping to not only persecute the perpetrators to help discourage such crimes, but also walk hand-in-hand with the victims through the entire recovery process.
We visited one of the slum areas in Philippines’ massive 16 million strong capital city — the heart of this child pornography industry. It was heartbreaking to hear stories like Cassie’s:
But yet so encouraging to see these talented lawyers and their teammates, forgoing high-paying legal careers to join this fight against child sex trafficking.
May God help us all to find ways we can join together, contributing our various skills and passions to make a lasting difference.
As IJM founder Gary Haugen says, “When our grandchildren ask us where we were when the voiceless and the vulnerable in our era needed leaders of compassion and purpose, I hope we can say that we showed up, and that we showed up on time.”