This episode contains content that may be distressing for some listeners. The episode deals with the online sexual exploitation of children and is confronting and often disturbing. If you need to talk to someone, support is available: 1800RESPECT: In Australia, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732. Lifeline: Call 13 11 14 anytime for confidential telephone crisis support.
This episode of Undeceptions was a difficult one for us to make. But we believe it’s an important one. It’s a myth that there’s no such thing as slavery in modern times. And just as Christians were at the forefront of anti-slavery work way back in the 5th century, and again in the 19th century, we’ll be speaking to today’s heroes, continuing that tradition, fighting for the absolute end of slavery, the end of human trafficking, in their lifetime. We’ve worked with International Justice Mission – the largest anti-slavery organisation in the world – to bring you the story of Cassie in the Philippines. Cassie was rescued from a neighbour who had lured her into a world of online sexual exploitation. We speak with some of those who worked to see her released from slavery, and who continue to work to rescue countless other victims both in the Philippines and other parts of south east Asia, the epicentre of this heinous crime.
Links related to this episode:
- International Justice Mission works with law enforcement, including the Australian Federal Police, to tackle the online sexual exploitation of children. Read more about the AFP’s involvement in the Philippines here and the first Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre – a collective law enforcement effort to combat child exploitation.
- And read this article from Reuters on the new taskforce and its impact so far.
- Read more about Shechem House, the first IJM assessment centre for children rescued from abuse.
- Watch this 20-minute documentary from IJM: How one survivor of sex trafficking is sparking a global movement to end slavery in our lifetime.
- Read this fact sheet from IJM on child sexual exploitation in the Philippines.
Thanks to our season sponsor – Selah – for all your travel needs, whether you’re a doubter or a believer. Find out more at myselah.com.au.
Get to know our guests
Caroly Houmes is Chief Executive of International Justice Mission (IJM) in Australia, and was previously executive director of IJM in the Netherlands. An experienced legal professional, Caroly as a Masters in International and European Human Rights Law.
Jacob Sarkodee leads IJM’s operations team and has over 10 years experience in the international aid and development sector in Australia.
Rev Stephen Gualberto (also known as Pastor Bong) is the senior pastor of GMA Church of the Nazarene in the Philippines. Pastor Bong led the Church of the Nazarene as they established the first IJM assessment centre for children rescued from online sexual exploitation. Shechem Children’s Home opened its doors on September 8, 2018.
Glenn De Guzman is a pastor currently serving in the Philippines as IJM’s Church Partnerships Manager and spends most of his time inviting church leaders and faith-based organisations to participate in the fight against online sexual exploitation of children. Glenn actively seeks ways for the Church to move the Philippine government to a more effective criminal justice system by creating public demand for accountability, mobilising prayer groups and raising volunteer support.