A shocking documentary has shed light on the Filipino mothers who who allow their own children to be sexually abused for cash.
In the latest episode of the BBC’s Stacey Dooley Investigates, the eponymous presenter travels to the Philippines to film the documentary Mums Selling Their Kids For Money.
The documentary team followed a sting operation against two sisters, which we reported (here) in March.
Amongst the shocking scenes she caught on camera were two mothers accepting money in exchange for access to their children, who were as young as five.
Despite the damning evidence against them, the mothers attempted to blame the crimes on the children themselves.
Stacey also met women who had sexually abused their own children in front of webcams.
However, not only were the mothers broadcasting the sexual abuse of their children online, they also accepted cash for foreign perverts to have sex with their children themselves.
Stacy followed the work of an investigator known only as ‘Mike’ who made contact with the women by creating a fake persona. Once he had their trust, he asked the mothers what they would allow to be done to their children.
Mike said: “Some of these guys sometimes ask for the most horrendous abuse of a child.
“They could ask for a child to be lit on fire, basically tortured. Some of these guys you read their [online chats], they’re obviously terribly sick people, they’re monsters.”
The BBC Three documentary also gained access to a live sting operation involving two mothers.
They arranged to meet with Mike at a private villa where they explained their girls “could do sex” before he handed over money as part of the sting operation.
After gathering irrefutable evidence on camera, Mike and his team arrested the two sisters.
Stacey visited the pair in prison afterwards to see if they realised the extent of their crime, but discovered that they showed no apparent remorse and were attempting to pin the blame on their children.
“It was the kids, they initiated it themselves,” one of the women said. “Many youths do things they shouldn’t. There are things the parents can’t control. But I’m not selling them…”
Both women face up to a life sentence on charges including child trafficking, child abuse and child pornography.
After hearing the mother’s astonishing claim, Stacey told the cameras: “A, I know that’s a complete lie and B, to have that mentality when you’re supposed to be the person that protects them is just so depressing.
“It’s such a disappointment and it just confirms that it was right to take those kids away from them.”
Following the arrest of their mothers, the children have been taken into the Filipino care system.
Stacey said that although victims are reportedly given emotional and psychological support, many suffer from post-traumatic stress, turn to substance abuse and have suicidal tendencies.
“It’s a really complicated situation and your emotions are back and forth,” she said, as the children were taken into care. “Part of you is delighted that the operation is going well — because ultimately the kids are going to be safe and well in the future — but then you remind yourself that there are no real winners because these kids are going to have their mums taken away from them.
“It’s very sad, it’s very grey, and there is no black and white,” she concluded.