TREVOR ISBELL WRITES –  The sexual abuse of young Filipino children has long been an income source for some of the country’s poorest inhabitants.

The country’s National Crime Agency (NCA) stated that “Extreme poverty, the increasing availability of high-speed Internet and the existence of a vast and comparatively wealthy overseas customer base has led to organized crime groups exploiting children for financial gain.”

European pedophiles in particular are taking advantage of the extreme poverty of some Philippine families, offering to pay to watch their children engage in forced sexual acts over a webcam.

The epidemic has gained increased attention in recent years, with investigations especially heating up in recent months. Currently, the international effort known as “Operation Endeavour” (which includes British, Australian and U.S. law enforcement agencies) has resulted in 29 arrests around the globe. Five of 17 U.K. arrestees have already been convicted; one is said to face no further action, two have recently been reported dead, leaving nine still awaiting conviction.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this exploitation of poverty is that demand is on the rise.  Unfortunately, it seems that unless serious economic improvement comes to these parts of the Philippines, supply will rise accordingly.

This report truly elucidates the multi-faceted issues which stem from such poverty around the world.  For now we must simply hope for the continued success of these ongoing investigations.