The sale of children and women for sexual abuse is modern day slavery and it still goes on today. The cover-up of this and sex crimes against children is a crime in itself. It is found in Ireland and UK at shockingly high frequency.
The international pedophiles flock to Asia where there is poverty and many children are vulnerable and abused. Many run away from abusive and broken homes and are picked up by pimps and sold to brothels. Others are sold to recruiters and are offered high paying jobs but end up as domestics and are prostituted.
In the Philippines local politicians issue permits and licenses to the foreign operated clubs and overlook the trafficking and abuse. President Aquino promised with all his heart to fight the child abuse and trafficking.
Saving children from abuse is now much more frequent but so many are also victims of there own relatives especially their own fathers and their live-in partners. More and more people are becoming aware of child abuse and are overcoming their reluctance and fear of reporting it. Thanks to an Irish Aid project with the PREDA Foundation, dozens of municipalities are ending the secret settlement system whereby a local official negotiates a payment from the pedophile to the parents of a child victim. He takes a percentage.
Such payments and settlements for silence and subsequent cover-up are criminal of their nature and any silence is a form of consent to the crime. That's why the revelations in Ireland recently in the Cloyne report are so shocking. The government has protested strongly to the Vatican for allegedly advising or pressuring for a cover up to protect the church institution rather than saving the child and bringing the abuser to justice. The failure to report such crimes committed by clergy or anyone against children to the police is indefensible.
It's high time that Catholics who blindly overlook just criticism of the institutional church realize that they may be victims of centuries of mental conditioning and misguided persuasion that a good catholic is an unquestioning docile follower of the institutional church. That is not what Christian faith is about.
True Christian faith is in Jesus of Nazareth and his gospel of justice, truth, redemption, equality, unity and love. His kingdom is a spiritual way of life that is based on the great virtues, values and the unselfish service to others, just in case we have forgotten what to strive for. We ought to be humble washers-of-feet not princes and power players. We Christians, lay people and priests and ministers alike are to be defenders of the children's rights and called to work for justice and truth. We must never shrink away in fear from our duty and our faith.
We have a prophetic calling as Christians and believers in Jesus to speak out as he did without fear or favor to the authorities, religious or civil. He challenged and chided them, called them to account, to repent and when they refused and continued to play with pomp and power like corrupt despots then he named and shamed them as whitened sepulchers and a brood of vipers.
Faced with a similar situation in the mission in the Philippines many years ago I decided that it was best to follow Jesus of Nazareth and fulfill the mission through an independent organization to protect human rights and abused children, Then the sex industry was more rampant than it is today. So against much opposition in the church and under a martial law regime where human rights were violated daily, I set up the PREDA Foundation.
The Work of PREDA Foundation is all about winning freedom for the children enslaved in brothels, the kids behind bars for crimes they did not commit or for minor offenses in most cases. We fight for the rights and the freedom of the small children from 4 years old to 16 from the clutches of their sexual abusers, the pedophiles, even their abusive parents or whoever they are crying to be freed from. We have a hot line where they can call or text for help. It is given immediately without delay. A rescue team is immediately sent, the child is saved and the abuser is jailed and brought to trial. The child is safely cared for in a protective home and return to happiness through therapy, education, recovery and eventual reintegration. They can now stand up with dignity and hope in finding justice.
Rev. Shay Cullen is a founder of PREDA.org - a nonprofit dedicated to ending the abuse of children.