Online child abuse rose during the pandemic lockdowns

The Philippine government saw a 260 percent increase in reports of online child abuse from March to May – when the country was in a strict lockdown, UNICEF said.

John Tanagho of the International Justice Mission in Manila explained, “COVID-19 lockdowns created the perfect storm for increases in online sexual exploitation of children.”

The Australian Federal Police said investigators are even “seeing COVID-specific child exploitation forums where (offenders) are discussing the opportunities that have arisen during the COVID period,” including one with 1,000 members.

Online sexual exploitation of children is a “crime of opportunity” driven by demand from sex offenders, said Tanagho.

With jobs and income lost and more time spent at home as a result of strict virus measures in the Philippines, many of the victims are first abused by their own parents, who livestream the sexual violence for predators in wealthy Western nations.

Source: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2020/12/06/2061800/covid-19-lockdowns-drive-spike-online-child-abuse

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