The rescue of 16 children in the Philippines from sexual abuse overseas

The rescue of 16 children in the Philippines from sexual abuse overseas
A photo from Australian Federal of rescued one of 16 children


Anna Vu kim

Southeast Asia and Pacific and Human Rights Researchers

Global Human Rights Defence

16 children in the Philippines have been "removed from harm" by local authorities after a major international child protection investigation.The united efforts of the Australian and Philippine police led to children being rescued from sexual abuse (Jones, 2023).

The case began in January when Australian Border Force (ABF) officers at Sydney Airport checked the baggage of a Queensland man on his return from the Philippines. The officers allegedly found child abuse material and messages detailing the man's alleged plan to pay a third party to sexually abuse children in the Philippines (Nickel, 2023).

ABF officers alerted the Australian Federal Police (AFP) who shared the information with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC) (Jones, 2023).

On June 22 and 23 the PNP executed warrants are four locations in Taguig and Nueva Vizcaya, in the country's north, where 16 children were found. The youngest child was just 10 years old. All the children have been placed into the care of the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (Nickel, 2023).

The PICACC, since it was established in has rescued 611 children and seen 127 alleged facilitators arrested 2019. Of those, 218 victims rescues  - including a six-year-old girl who was rescued last month - and 49 of the alleged offenders arrests were the result of AFP assistance.

Chief of the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Centre, Police Colonel Portia Manalad said collaboration is essential to its operation. 'We must collaborate with our international partners, such as the AFP, to arrest offenders and rescue child victims,' she said (Nickel, 2023)

The Queensland man has been charged with intentionally importing tier two goods (which includes child abuse material), possessing child abuse material or using a carrier service and grooming a person to make it easier to engage in sexual activity with a child outside of Australia (Nickel, 2023).

Sources and further reading:


Jones, C. (July 5, 2023). Airport luggage search of Queensland man at Sydney Airport leads to the rescue of 16 children from alleged sexual abuse overseas.
Retrieved on July 16, 2023, from


Nickel, A. (July 5, 2023). Sickening discovery at Sydney airport exposed - with 16 children saved from unthinkable acts
Retrieved on July 17, 2023, from