Marcelo said parents or relatives engaged in this kind of abuse believe it is not harmful to their children as there is no physical contact between them and the predator.
“Many of them think that since there is no sexual contact, it is permissible to just take videos or pictures of them,” Marcelo told UCA News.
Authorities believe poverty is the main reason why parents are increasingly selling their children online as many have lost their jobs due to the economic impact caused by the pandemic.
“You will see many of those who do it [online sexual abuse] are families who live below the poverty line. Maybe they really have no choice but to do this to their children. They need money to eat,” social worker Amanda Grajo told UCA News.
Reports say online child sex abuse has tripled in the Philippines during the coronavirus pandemic as poor families have sought to make easy money.