A study on Children and the Sex Trade in the Digital Age

Facebook groups open more channels for cybersex trade in the Philippines

Author Patti Simson, on Rappler.com explains how online social platforms are being used to facilitate sex trafficking. Pimps are using Facebook groups and more to reach their clients. The income in cybersex is higher, and many of the victims are starting to enter in as “freelancers”.

Fast Quotes:

“A new study released by Plan International found that 6 out of 10 of its respondents turned online to seek clients who exploited children as young as 11 years old.”

“Aside from the ease by which these illegal transactions are facilitated, online platforms have also enabled teenagers to be “freelancers” in the illegal trade, without needing a pimp to connect him or her to a customer.”

Pimps manage Facebook groups – with about 5 to 15 girls – where photos and profiles are posted.

“Accounts managed by a pimp for online transactions were active only when they were needed. After which, they become inactive and eventually, the group account would be closed. However, when this happens, another account with a different set of children and adolescents would be set up,” it stated.

“The income of cybersex traders is higher than those involved in face-to-face engagement. Study informants explained that they usually get a commission from gifts, food, or free drinks given by their customers.”

“Prevention, through enforcement and delivery of basic social services, is still seen as the best way to end sex trafficking. But while the trade continues and more women and girls are exploited, Plan International urged the government to assist victims by providing employment skills training and support for psychological rehabilitation.”


  • To read the full article click here
  • To download Plan International’s Study “Children and the Sex Trade in the Digital Age” click here