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  • Country contains "Philippines (slavery location)"
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Cassie

There are an estimated 784,000 people living in modern slavery in the Philippines (GSI 2018).  Men, women and children are subjected forced labour and sex trafficking both within the country and in destination countries. 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. When Cassie was 12, a family friend took her to Manila promising to help her reach her dreams. She was forced to perform sexual acts in front of a computer. Customers all over the world would pay to watch her. IJM discovered Cassie’s story 4 years later and helped rescue her and six other victims from the house. Today, Cassie and the other children are safe at an aftercare shelter. Cassie calls this her second home.

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Elsa (Narrative 2)

There are an estimated 784,000 people living in modern slavery in the Philippines (GSI 2018).  Men, women and children are subjected forced labour and sex trafficking both within the country and in destination countries. 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. When Elsa was 12 years old her father died, and her mother left. Elsa was determined to find work, save some money and support her brother. A bar owner offered her a job that promised good pay. But it was a trap. The bar owner forced her into prostitution, and for years she faced violent abuse and sexual exploitation every single day. But now, Elsa is safe. She is a brave survivor of sex trafficking and describes herself as strong.

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Remy

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 business 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.     Remy was 12 years old when she ran away from a verbally and sexually abusive family. During a night out with friends she was introduced to a man who offered her a job in a club in Cotabato City. Upon arrival Remy was sold to the manager of a sex club where she was forced to provide sexual services for men under the threat of violence. Feeling hopeless, Remy was finally rescued by police when trouble at the club led the manager to move her and others to Cebu City. 

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Joeychev

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. At the age of 13 Joeychev, along with her friend Erich, took a job working as a live-in nanny for her aunt to help out her parents. However, rather than babysitting Joeychev’s aunt locked her in a room and taught her how to do ‘shows’ for clients in front of the computer. Joeychev was forced to work twelve hours a day with no breaks. Under constant surveillance she was made to perform for clients across the world from the Philippines, Holland and the US. After months of sexual exploitation, Joeychev was finally rescued after a police raid shut down her aunt’s cybersex operation.

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Carla

It is estimated that of the 400 000 enslaved in the Philippines, the majority are in forced labour. Recent surveys suggest that one in every two Filipino women are working abroad in unskilled and domestic work, some of the highest risk industries for modern slavery. High population growth combined with limited employment opportunities leads many Filipinos to look for work abroad. People are deceived by promises of higher salary and better working conditions, only to find themselves forced to work long hours with no pay under the threat of physical and sexual violence. This forced labour often involves debt bondage in which the enslaved is told they owe money for travel, accommodation and living expenses. Carla left school to find work in order to help support her family. Taken to an agency Carla accepted an offer to become a domestic worker in Manila where she was told she would be able to earn more money. After working in multiple houses for different families, she arrived at a home where initially she thought she would be treated well. However, she soon found herself working every day, locked inside the house, subjected to physical beatings and denied medical attention. Carla was rescued when neighbours heard screaming and called the police. 

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Rowena

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.

Rowena’s account of her route into sexual exploitation highlights that family problems of abuse and poverty make children vulnerable to coercion into the sex industry.

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Rosanna

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.

Rosanna travelled to Cebu City under the false pretences of working in a convenience shop, but was instead sexually exploited for a year and a half before she was able to leave the situation.

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Jovie

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.

Jovie managed to escape her situation of sex slavery, but remained in prostitution making her own money. She explains that she wants to leave sex work altogether but, because of an addiction to the drugs that she was encouraged to use when she was enslaved, “it’s very hard to get out.”

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Ester

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.

As a child, Ester had experience of both domestic slavery in her Aunt’s home, as well as forced sexual exploitation, in which her mother was complicit.

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Elsa

There are an estimated 784,000 people living in modern slavery in the Philippines (GSI 2018).  Men, women and children are subjected forced labour and sex trafficking both within the country and in destination countries. 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. Elsa's father died when she was 12. Her mother left soon afterwards and she moved with her brother to live with grandparents who could not afford food and school for her. By working as a housekeeper and janitor, she was able to keep both herself and her brother in school. But then she accepted a new job offer from a bar owner and became trapped in the sex industry. The managers used a complex system of fines and false debt to keep her and the other girls trapped. 16 victims, including Elsa, were freed by police during an operation in 2013. She went on to testify against the traffickers during their trial. She wrote and told her story in 2016 while in her early twenties and a college student. "Elsa" is a pseudonym.

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Cristy

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. Like many others who find themselves enslaved in situations of sexual exploitation, Cristy was told that she owed her employers all of the money she earned, and kept in debt bondage until the brothel was raided by police.

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Cathy

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.

Like many others who find themselves enslaved in situations of sexual exploitation, Cathy was told that she owed her employers all of the money she earned, and kept in debt bondage until a police raid that occurred just before her 18th birthday.

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Belen

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.

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Annabel

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.

Annabel left school at 13 and began working various exploitative jobs, first in domestic service and then in a brothel, where she experienced a police raid. Instead of coming to her rescue, the effect of the police operation was to shame and stigmatize Annabel in her own community, making it harder for her to reintegrate or find other work. Annabel also discusses her future, and what changes she would like to see to prevent vulnerable people becoming enslaved.

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Alma

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. Alma’s story highlights how survivors can use their experiences and knowledge in the fight against slavery and exploitation. Alma works not only to help women to freedom but to change the culture around prostitution, which often works to criminalize and delegitimize the women who are exploited within the industry, while protecting those who exploit.

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Aleta

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. Aleta’s story highlights how children who face abuse at home are particularly vulnerable to enslavement and sexual exploitation.

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Julie

Immediately after graduating from high school, Julie was enslaved in Manilla where she danced and entertained customers. She escaped and returned home, but reflects on her friend Carmen who wanted to go to Japan, as they had originally been promised, where she was enslaved in prostitution.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.

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Jing

Jing was enslaved in the Philippines, sent to the nation’s capital, Manilla, to become a domestic servant and receive education, which she was not given. Later she was sexually abused and prostituted from when she was 12 years old. It was only after getting seriously ill that she was able to return home. 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.

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Giselle

Giselle became a child soldier in the Philippines at the age of 15. In the Philippines, where three major insurgent groups have fought the Philippine military since the 1960s, there are an estimated 2000 child soldiers. The Communist-oriented New People’s Army, established in 1968, began an intense recruitment of children in the 1990s. By 2000, some 25 percent of new recruits were children, and more than ten percent of its regular combatants are now under 18. Parents volunteer children to serve as combatants and camp guards. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front allows the training of children as young as 12. Parents volunteer their children, seeing it as an observation of Islamic teaching, and Muslim youth organizations recruit students from schools and colleges. The Abu Sayyaf (“Bearer of the Sword”), a Muslim separatist group which appeared in the late 1980s, uses Islamic religion to draw minors into the movement, for use as combatants, human shields, and hostages.

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Ganggang

Ganggang was enslaved in the Philippines at the age of 18 and then trafficked to Japan, where she was imprisoned and expected to entertain and have sex with bar customers. 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.