Community and School Educations
CSEC has a lucrative nature that persists in poor communities where families are in dire need of resources to survive. Many people in these areas are uneducated and unaware, making them easy prey for CSEC offenders. Children are easily deceived by promises of high paying jobs in faraway places, but instead end up being used as sex slaves. Parents quit their jobs and cajole their own children into cybersex with foreign clients. Young people enter into prostitution thinking it is their only option for a living.
Poverty and ignorance are the root causes, and confronting these is key. While there have been life-long efforts to alleviate poverty (with ECPAT also providing livelihood trainings to beneficiaries), we put utmost importance in educating people on the issue. We believe that when people know and understand their rights, they are empowered – even if they are disadvantaged.
ECPAT Philippines has reached out to places where prostitution, sex trafficking and pornography of children are most pervasive. We conducted education sessions to inform vulnerable children and families of contexts and trends of CSEC so they will be vigilant members of their community—who know where and how to report incidents, who know what to do when faced with danger, and who know where to seek help and access justice when victimized.
Children have legal rights that they should fight for and should adhere to. Any violation of such rights is punishable under the law. Our initiatives for educating children and families seek to raise consciousness on the issue and deter ill-willed community members from overstepping these rights.