Human trafficking is a global problem, affecting 5.5 million children worldwide. In the Philippines, there are 60,000-100,000 children who are being trafficked. These children experience violence, sexual exploitation, and other human rights abuses.
The online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) has become a pervasive worldwide epidemic. Anyone with a cell phone and an internet connection has the technology to send explicit images anywhere in the world.
In the Philippines, OSEC is rampant. In many cases, the parents or other close relatives are the perpetrators. Because of their impoverished conditions, families become desperate and the way out may involve sexual exploitation of their children. The youngest child that has been rescued in Cebu was only 3 months old.
If convicted, parents typically receive a life prison sentence. There are currently no facilities in Cebu for siblings that have been removed from their parents. No facilities exist that accept both boys and girls. Brothers and sisters must be sent to separate facilities.
The Hope Mountain Center is being developed to provide specialized comprehensive services to child victims of sexual exploitation. The Hope Mountain Center will provide sibling victims of OSEC a safe refuge from their perpetrators while surrounding them in an environment of unconditional love, nurture, care, and patient acceptance. Each rescued child will be able to find help and healing from the trauma they experienced.
Residents of the Hope Mountain Aftercare Center will live in a safe home‐style setting with carefully selected house parents. Residents will have access to counseling, education, medical care, mentoring, life‐skills training, social services, and vocational training.