In the Philippines, women and children are subjected to sexual exploitation in brothels, bars, and massage parlours, online, as well as in the production of pornography. The Philippines is an international hub for prostitution and commercial sex tourism – a highly profitable businesses for organised criminal syndicates. The demand for sex with children among both local and foreign men has continued to fuel child sex tourism. Rising internet usage rates, the availability of mobile phones and poverty has fostered online child sexual exploitation.
Belen was sold into sexual slavery by her mother when she was eight, and although rescued at the age of nine, she ran away from the centre where she lived, run by an NGO, when she was 14. She was recruited back into prostitution.