Jovay is one of many 'real' Sweeties in the Philippines. She lost her parents at a very early age. Orphaned and coming from an impoverished family she is a typical example of a vulnerable girl that was recruited for webcamsex.
“Jovay” as she is fondly called by the family and friends was just ten (10) years old when trafficked for pornography in Lapu-lapu City. Orphaned with three other siblings and coming from an impoverished family, she represents other vulnerable children recruited for cybersex in Cebu, Philippines. Her recruiter was a relative. The cybersex operator was a neighbour with very young children of her own.
Jovay was rescued on September 6, 2013, after complaining to her grandmother (who had since taken care of her and siblings) that earlier that day, she was brought by her aunt to a house where someone made her to strip naked upon instruction of a white man in the webcam. These cybersex dens cater only to foreign customers. Jovay narrated that against her will, she shed her clothings and given directions, including applying an eggplant on her private part. She described the white man as old, with white hair. After her “performance”, Jovay was sent home.
Meanwhile, her grandmother was already looking for her. When Jovay was finally able to arrive home, she told her grandmother about what happened. Her grandmother then reported the matter to the village chief, who then asked police assistance for the arrest of the person in the cybersex den. The aunt was arrested the day after in another town.
Jovay is now in a children’s shelter, pending trial of the cases of child abuse, trafficking, and pornography against the cyberden manager and the aunt. Her foreign abusers have yet to be identified, charged, and arrested.
Children Legal Bureau continues organising the Child’s Rights Protection Units (CRPU) in the areas of Argao, Moalboal and Toledo in the Philippines through the conduct of regular meetings, monitoring, mid-year and year-end assessments and planning sessions as well as team building. The CRPU is a mechanism for collaboration and cooperation among the five pillars of justice in the prevention and protection of children from abuse and exploitation and handling children in conflict with the law. Monitoring of the CRPUs in the old areas of Naga, Balamban and Compostela also continue. Between July 2013 to June 2014, investigations and surveillance led to two rescue operations where five children were rescued, and two female child exploiters were charged. On a different note, nine capacity building activities were also conducted with a total of 241 youth, teachers, members of the barangay councils for the protection of children and local legislators. With active advocacy against Child Sex Tourism, the Province of Cebu enacted an ordinance declaring first week of October as anti-CST week and another ordinance penalising acts of child sex tourism.