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Type of document: News
Topic: Evaluation
Geographic descriptors: Philippines
Language: English
Source: www.sunstar.com.ph/static/dav/2005/10/31/oped/radzini.oledan.slice.of.life.html
Date of publication: 31 October 2005
Long Abstract: Monday, October 31, 2005 Oledan: Illegal recruitment and human trafficking By Radzini Oledan Slice Of Life

IT could be lack of opportunities or the sense of stability in knowing that the most basic needs of one's family members could be provided. It maybe that they just dream big, knowing that by setting their foot on other countries, their options can be widened.

Due to mouth-watering package of benefits and higher compensation, thousands of our youth are leaving the country. Leaving the country is an attractive option that is oftentimes fraught with dangers.

Last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs warned that a number of Filipinos seeking jobs abroad have been conned. Most of the illegal recruiters have taken advantage of Australia 's announced skills shortage.

By her own admission, Ambassador Cristina Ortega of the Philippine embassy in Canberra described illegal recruiters "to be two steps ahead of us."

Illegal recruitment is nothing new and with a deeply impoverished community, there will always be prospective and willing victims. The problem lies on the mechanisms to prevent the occurrence and recurrence of the modus operandi.

Crafty recruiters are fast in devising schemes. By utilizing modern technology, they are able to continue their trade almost with impunity. Recruitment is not done individually but through networks in the community.

This is how human trafficking work. Its victims are the youth whose families are the ones who encourage them to seek employment in other parts of the country or abroad.

Illegal recruitment and human trafficking are becoming a fast growing industry worldwide. While many victims are forced to work in sex entertainment, human trafficking also takes place as labor exploitation such as domestic servitude, sweatshop factories or migrant work.

Fraud is the name of the game. It involves false offers of employment. For example, women and children will reply to advertisements promising jobs as waitresses, maids and nannies in other countries only to be forced into prostitution once they arrive at their destination.

Today, illegal recruiters work around legal mechanisms to protect their trade. Latest updates would show that tourist visas and short-term visas were being used to exact hefty sums in exchange for non-existent jobs.

Labor officials should not stop in warning the public against falling into the trap of empty promises. It should review its policies and devise strategies to pro-actively respond to the situation.

The experience of overseas workers is enough testaments to the need for a comprehensive measure and even collaborative action between governments.

When opportunities are sorely lacking in our own home and when foreign earnings are needed for an economy to survive, the least that citizens should expect from their authorities is to be four to five steps level higher from con-artists and illegal recruiters.

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