Friday, January 11, 2008

Region in the Philippines is Source for Trafficking Victims

From the Philippine Inquirer:

The Philippines- Eastern Visayas continues to be a source of women and children being sent to Metro Manila brothels and sweatshops, and the number of trafficking cases is alarming, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the region.

DSWD officials said the number of human trafficking cases was increasing despite efforts to stop them. “Eastern Visayas remains to be a sending region,” said Leticia Corillo, DSWD regional director. She said the victims were mostly children and women who were recruited by trafficking gangs. The victims end up working without pay in brothels and sweatshops in Metro Manila, she said.

Last year, the number of human trafficking cases reached 185, up from only 108 in 2005, Corillo said. From January to June, the DSWD monitored 108 cases of human trafficking. Over 70 percent of the cases involved women, while the rest involved male and female children aged 13 years to 17 years, she said.

Since the campaign against human trafficking started in 2004, the regional DSWD has filed eight cases against traffickers, Corillo said. The cases remain pending in various courts, she said.

Read the full article

Lack of awareness of trafficking amongst politicians and law enforcement and lack of political will continue to hamper civil sector efforts to prosecute traffickers in court. Additionally, because of the huge profits generated, human trafficking is an industry that is protected not only by traffickers but also by corrupt politicians, police and other parties who receive bribes for their complicity.

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