pornography has become a big-time business all over the world,
all at the expense of children.
Before 1968, it
was rare to find actual children featured in pornographic
material. At first, pornographers only used young-looking
adults to cater to the pedophile market. But by the 1970s,
child pornography experienced a boom, particularly in the
United States where an estimated 300,000 to 600,000 children
under 16 were fielded as models.
To curb the industry's
growth, stricter laws were established in the US and Western
Europe, forcing pornographers to move their operations to
countries with lax laws such as the Philippines.
Today, the advent
of the Internet and digital cameras has made child pornography
even more pervasive, while making it more difficult for authorities
to track the growing number of both pornographers and their
prostitution is a kin of child pornography.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development,
anywhere from 60,000 to 600,000 streetchildren are victims
of child prostitution. In fact, the Philippines ranks fourth
among countries with the most number of prostituted children.
A study by the Psychological Trauma Program of the University
of the Philippines notes that prostitution may now be the
country's fourth largest source of GNP.
Yet, while some
data on child prostitution are available, they may not reflect
the potentially even larger number of children being victimized
through child pornography.
child victims before it is too late.
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