Uncovering the roots of trafficking

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

POVERTY and low educational attainment are the major factors why some parents push their children to prostitution, says a social sciences instructor.

The kind of environment where the family of a trafficked child lives also plays a part in influencing their lifestyle, said Jerome Lasala of Cebu Normal University.

“They will do anything even if it is bad because of poverty),” he said. “As long as they make money.”


He said a “weak moral fabric” exposes an adult as an easy prey to temptations.

In a separate interview, social welfare officer Jenneth Robles-Aquino shared Lasala’s views.

“They thought the only way to survive is to involve their children,” she said. “They push their children to earn money, not thinking it will be detrimental to the children.”

Easy way out

She said if a parent sees a neighbor get rich quickly by resorting to an illicit activity, the parent will likely be influenced to do the same.

“Some want a fast way out of poverty,” Aquino said in Cebuano.

Last Thursday afternoon, the Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB) charged two mothers of the rescued 15 minors from Lapu-Lapu City for violating Republic Act (RA) 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons) as amended by RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons) before the Office of Provincial Prosecutor.

A sister of one of the victims was also charged with the same offense.

The minors, 11 girls and four boys, were allegedly sexually abused by an Australian national. They were rescued by CLB and Cordova Police Station from a resort last June 24.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) reported that child trafficking is a global phenomenon and it “infringes upon the child’s physical and mental integrity, which is central to the experience of human dignity, and poses a significant threat to the child’s life.”

Serious problem

A report on human trafficking by the US State Department said child trafficking remains a serious problem in the Philippines.

In its 2014 US Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released recently, the US State Department also noted that Filipino children who fall victims to this illegal activity are getting younger and more boys are being recruited.

It states that child sex tourists come from Australia, New Zealand, and countries in northeast Asia, Europe and North America.

“The Philippines is a source country and, to a much lesser extent, a destination and transit country for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. A significant number of the 10 million men, women and children who migrate abroad for skilled and unskilled work are subsequently subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor,” the report read. (KAL)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 03, 2014.

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