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Type of document: News
Topic: Evaluation
Geographic descriptors: Philippines
Language: English
Source: www.inq7.net/globalnation/sec_cdn/2005/nov/new/nov28_07.htm
Date of publication: 28 November 2005
Long Abstract: Children becoming exports By Minerva BC Newman Contributor

In Dumaguete City, the boarding of sacada becomes a seemingly normal scene at the port. According to the study, it is the source of labor for sugar plantations on Negros Island and in other provinces in Luzon. But it has also become a vehicle to traffic children for labor and sexual exploitation. Most of these children are transported to Cebu, Siquijor and Bacolod or to as far as Olongapo, Manila and Caloocan and to other places in Mindanao, such as Zamboanga and Jolo. The regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reported four trafficking cases for sexual purposes in 2001 and two cases in 2002. Profiles

Based on a study of the End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT), "Endangered generation: Child Trafficking in the Philippines for Sexual Purposes," majority of the victims are girls, from as young as 13 and as old as 17. Some respondents mentioned that there were also boys that were recruited with them but they did not know where they were taken.

The study shows though that more boys are trafficked for exploitative work while girls are trafficked for sexual purposes. Of the 72 children victims interviewed in the survey, 68 percent are still active as GROs (guest relations officers) and prostitutes employed in bars and clubs and or through the street sex trade.

"Puslan man nga nia na mi aning buhata, padayonon na lang gyud. Wa sab mi lang kappa-ingnan ug was sab mi kama-uhan (It's too late to change jobs. We had been in this trade for too long now. We don't know where to go and we are not educated enough to get a decent job)," said Loren, 17, who was trafficked three times.

The research also revealed that almost all of these children are school dropouts from elementary or high school. They either work as domestic helpers or vendors to help augment family income.

Generally, the study noted, trafficked children come from very poor and dysfunctional families from either rural or urban areas. Most of the fathers are semi-workers as carpenters, vendors, drivers and construction workers, fishermen and farmers, while most of the mothers are domestic helpers, vendors and laundry women and some also assist in farming.

In terms of educational attainment, majority of the parents as well as the trafficked children reached primary to intermediate levels, and only very few reached high school.

It is interesting to note that most of the mothers of those trafficked children in Metro Manila were unemployed, while the fathers of the trafficked children in Dumaguete were all jobless.

It can be said that children are more at risk of being trafficked when the average household size is more than eight; parents have irregular and inadequate sources of income that could barely sustain the needs of the family, the study revealed.

In Cebu for instance, 15 minors that were interviewed came from families with five to seven members; in Metro Manila, most of the victims came from families with four to 11 members and in Cagayan de Oro City, majority of the children interviewed came from families with more than eight members. The study also pointed out that the common family problem of those trafficked children is very basic. According to most of them, when there is no money, parents quarrel and blame their children for their poor predicament. When there is no food on the table, children are forced to drop out from school and try to look for jobs to help.

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