The involvement of parents has been reported with apparent shock.
However, the live streaming of sexual abuse from the Philippines to the West is the online form of a pattern of sexual exploitation that has been occurring for decades – and which has its roots in the country’s long-standing economic problems.
Michael Salter does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.
Western Sydney University provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.
Parents rent computers and UBS internet connections locally and then use internet chatrooms to find potential “clients” and negotiate a fee, which is then paid through international money transfers.
The online abuse of children has been characterised by Western law enforcement as an emerging threat to children.
Investigations in 14 countries have led to 29 arrests in the case overall, including 11 in the Philippines.
The US military presence in the country during and following the Vietnam War fuelled a demand for prostitution that has grown today to massive proportions.It was in this context that 17 British men and three Australians were arrested as part of an international police operation to disrupt a Philippines-based network that charged money to stream online video of children being sexually abused.