Human trafficking in the Philippines

Human trafficking in the Philippines

Human trafficking and the prostitution of children is a significant issue in the Philippines, often controlled by organized crime syndicates. [Citation
date=1 April, 2007
title='Chairman' reveals seedy world of trafficking
publisher=BBC News

In an effort to deal with the problem, the Philippines passed R.A. 9208, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, a penal law against human trafficking, sex tourism, sex slavery and child prostitution. [ Republic Act number 9208] Enforcement is reported to be inconsistent.cite web|title="Revealed: In Cities and Towns All Over the Philippines, Irishmen Pay to Have Sex with Children"|url=|date=2006-09-24|work=The Sunday Tribune|publisher=Tribune Newspapers PLC|archiveurl=|archivedate=2007-05-21]


A 1997 report put the number of child victims of prostitution at 75,000 in the Philippines.cite press release
title =Sex industry assuming massive proportions in Southeast Asia
publisher =International Labor Organization
date =19 August, 1998
accessdate =
, with other estimates saying as many as 100,000. [ [ Confronting Trafficking and Prostitution in Asia - The Struggle for Survival and Dignity, Making the Harm Visible, Global Sexual Exploitation of Women and Girls, Speaking Out and Providing Services ] ]

According to the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef)an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 children in the Philippines are involved in prostitution rings. There is a high incidence of child prostitution in tourist areas. An undetermined number of children are forced into exploitative labor operations. []

The Philippines is the fourth country with the most number of prostituted children, [ [ Facts and Figures ] ] and authorities have identified an increase in pedophiles travelling to the Philippines. [ ECPAT New Zealand | What's New ] ]

There are estimated to be 375,000 women and girls in the sex trade in the Philippines, mostly between the ages of 15 and 20, though some are as young as 11. [ CBC News: The Lens - Selling Sex in Heaven - Facts ] ]

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societys state that there are more than 1.5 million street children all over the Philippines and many end up in prostitution and drug trafficking in places such as Manila and Angeles. [ [ Red Cross Red Crescent - News ] ]

Trafficking in different areas

A special report from the Vatican states: The Philippines has a serious trafficking problem of women and children illegally recruited into the tourist industry for sexual exploitation. Destinations within the country are Metro Manila, Angels City, Olongapo City, towns in Bulacan, Batangas, Cebu City, Davao and Cagayan de Oro City and other sex tourist resorts such as Puerto Galero, which is notorious, Pagsanjan, Laguna, San Fernando Pampanga, and many beach resorts throughout the country. The promise of recruiters offers women and children attractive jobs in the country or abroad, and instead they are coerced and forced and controlled into the sex industry for tourists. [ People on the Move, N° 96 (Suppl.) ] ]

Puerto Galera

There are numerous cases of pedophilia that have been reported in Puerto Galera, a beach resort on Mindoro Island three hours south of Manila. The area is a favorite for foreign pedophilles seeking children. [ [ Universal Jurisdiction Needed to Convict Child Traffickers ] ] [ Dead link|date=April 2008|url=] [ [ :: Welcome to Manila Bulletin Online :: ] ] [] Puerto Galera has been described as one of the Philippines top five spots for child prostitution [ PHILIPPINES-CHILDREN: Scourge of Child Prostitution ] ] [ [ The Philippines - Coalition Against Trafficking of Women ] ]

ubic Bay

In 1988 a Naval Investigative undercover operation based in Subic Bay were offered children for sex as young as 4, 6, 12 and 13 years of age. [ Preda Foundation, Inc. NEWS/ARTICLES: "Paper to Child Labor Coalition, Washington" ] ] Many of those involved in the prostitution of children have been brought to justice in the courts. [ [ Fighting the child sex trade ] ] [ Dead link|date=April 2008|url=] Most of the 16,000 women estimated to have worked the bars around the largest overseas naval base were forced into the sex industry. [ Taipei Times - archives ] ] One 16 year old child tells of her experience in Subic Bay: "She was locked in a room for a month, starved and force-fed drugs and alcohol to ensure she was addicted and could be more easily controlled. She was often beaten unconscious for refusing to have sex with customers".Pregnancy, abortion, the spread of disease and drug abuse were just some of the indignities imposed on Filipinas. [ [ Green Left - Forgotten legacy of Subic Bay ] ] Despite the US pull-out from Subic Bay in 1992, continues to fester, catering to a new generation of civilian sex tourists.The former naval base, and current visits by American military have been the subject of protests by welfare groups and activists in Subic. Brandishing placards and chanting slogans, members of WAIL and Gabriela called for justice for all victims of human rights abuses. [ [ The Filipino Express Online ] ]


Go-go bars, massage parlors and prostitution were prominent in the "entertainment district" of Ermita, Manila.In 1991 a volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo forced an evacuation and destroyed much of the Clark Air Base, a major United States military facility located 40 miles (60 km) northwest of Manila, which closed shortly thereafter. Most the of sex trade around the base closed at the same time due to the loss of the GI customers. [citation|url=,13190,SOF_0904_Slavery1,00.html |title=The Modern Scourge of Sex Slavery |publisher=Soldier of Fortune Magazine |author=Martin Brass |year=2004] [citation|title=The Sex Sector: The Economic and Social Bases of Prostitution in Southeast Asia |author= Lin Lean Lim|year=1998|publisher=International Labour Organization|id=ISBN 9221095223 |url=] Mayor Alfredo Lim proceeded to crack down on Manila's remaining sex industry, causing many of these businesses to relocate to Angeles City, which borders on the closed base, and was becoming a popular tourist destination especially with former GI's. [ [ ALRC Reform Issue 67 - Gender issues: CONFRONTING SEXUAL EXPLOITATION ] ] [] By the late 1990s, UNICEF estimated that there are 60,000 child prostitutes in the Philippines, describing Angeles City brothels as "notorious" for offering sex with children.UNICEF estimates many of the 200 brothels in the notorious Angeles City offer children for sex. [ BBC Politics 97 ] ]

The current trade is dominated by Australian bar operators, and sustained by tourists seeking inexpensive sex, often with children. [citation|title=The Sociology of Tourism|author= Yiorgos Apostolopoulos, Stella Leivadi, Andrew Yiannakis|year=1996|publisher=Routledge|id=ISBN 0415135087|url=] In bars catering mostly to foreign men, girls are sold for a "bar fine". [] Conditions are sometimes brutal [,8599,106430,00.html The Forgotten Angels - TIME ] ] Children and teenagers are lured into the industry from poor areas by promises of money and care, and are kept there by threats, debt bondage and the fear of poverty. [] Angeles City is one of the largest sex tourist destinations in the world with just over 15 thousand women working in its various sex establishments (brothels, bars and videokees). []

UNICEF reports evidence of growing child pornography production in Angeles City.cite web
url =
title = Child exploitation growing
accessdate = 2007-05-20
last = Lopez
first = JP
coauthors = Jumilla, Marilou and Hachero, Ashzel
date= 2005-04-06
work = Malaya News
publisher = People's Independent Media Inc
archiveurl =
archivedate = 2005-08-29
quote = Unicef executive director Carol Bellamy... said the UN study found extensive evidence of child pornography in the Philippines, particularly in tourist destinations like Pagsanjan in Laguna, Angeles City, Baguio City and Puerto Galera in Mindoro.... According to the study, the number of reported child pornography victims totaled nine in 2000; four in 2001; seven in 2002 and 13 in 2003. Child prostitution data listed 186 reported cases in 2000; 224 in 2001; 245 in 2002, and 247 in 2003.
] Children as young as ten years old have been rescued from brothels in Angeles. []

Angeles Mayor Francis Nepomuceno has acknowledged the problem.“We admit having HIV cases and that prostitution may be flourishing".
STD cases rose five times. The RHWC treated 1,421 cases in 2005, 2,516 cases in 2006 and 6,229 cases in 2007. Most of the afflicted were women. [ [ ‘Sisters Plus’ aids Angeles sex workers -, Philippine News for Filipinos ] ]


Visayan Forum Foundation has established that most of the children and young women trafficked to Manila from rural areas in search of work are assured jobs as domestic workers, but in a significant number of cases end up in the sex trade. []


Trafficking of Women and Children in Olongapo was rampant during the time of the Subic Naval Base located close by. In 1988, the US Naval Investigative Service confirmed the existence of child prostitution in Olongapo City. [ [ Conferences: Conference on US Militarism and War on Terror in the Asia-PacificThe Social Cost of US Military Presence ] ] After the base closure a new pedophile clientel from countries such as Australia and Europe moved in.In Olongapo City, there are believed to be 15,000 prostitutes, almost 8% of the total population.cite web|url=|title=Street Children In The Philippines|publisher=Jubilee Action|format=PDFPDFlink| [ Street Children In The Philippines] ] Olongapo special prosecutor Dorentino Z. Floresta states, "Politicians do not want people to know that these things are happening in Olongapo," said Floresta. [ [ Preda Foundation, Inc. NEWS/ARTICLES: "Sailors Have Left, but Traffic in Children Is Brisk in Philippines " ] ]


CNN states that "A decade ago, Pagsanjan, located about 60 miles south of Manila, became known as a popular location for men seeking homosexual prostitutes." [ CNN - Child sex trade plagues Filipino resort - August 31, 1996 ] ] Pagsanjan began to attract an increasing number of pedophiles. "In the '80s, Pagsanjan was declared by international gay publications as a paradise for them, a gay paradise, a haven for homosexuals", said Dr. Sonia Zaide, an activist who is particularly concerned by the expansion of the town's sex trade to include minors, mostly young boys. [ [ G.R. No. 82544 ] ] [ [ Preda Foundation, Inc. NEWS/ARTICLES: "Success Against Child Abuse (Harvey, Mark)" ] ] [ [ Norwegian Pedophile ring ] ] "Time" magazine reported in 1993 that Pagsanjan was a favorite destination for sex tourists seeking children. [ [,9171,978725-3,00.html Defiling The Children - TIME ] ] The Filipino government began a crackdown on the child sex industry in Pagsanjan and 23 people of varying nationalities were arrested.Foreign pedophiles take advantage of the poverty, with children often being used as sexual currency by their own parents.Since then the town of Pagsanjan through civic action has dramatically reduced child prostitution. []


Childhope Asia Philippines, Inc. has a Community Mobilization against Child Prostitution project to prevent child prostitution in Pasay. [ [ Programs and Projects - Childhope Asia Philippines ] ] Children as young as 14 and 15 year olds are child prostitutes in Pasay clubs. []


In 2003, Makati Mayor Jejomar C. Binay ordered a crackdown against prostitution following reports that some prostitutes are linked to criminal syndicates. [] 33 women were rescued from a sex trafficking operation in Makati City by a team of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents. [ [ The Captive Diaries: 33 Women Rescued From Sex Den in Philippines ] ] The Chief of the Southern Police District deployed policemen in schools in Makati City following the abductions of children by those involved in the sex trade industry.P/Supt. Manuel Cabigon, SPD director, said the increased police presence in the vicinity of schools would deter members of a flesh trade syndicate from further pursuing their illegal activities. [ [ More Cops Deployed vs Sex Gang ] ]


October 5 has become the Day of No Prostitution Campaign in Davao City.The Philippine Information Agency reports documented cases of children as young as 10 years old forced into prostitution in Davao.Davao provinces, along with the Caraga region, have become the favorites of child traffickers posing as tourists. [ [ PIA Information Services - Philippine Information Agency ] ] Davao is one of the top five areas for child prostitution and sex tourism. [ [ Issues : Children ] Dead link|date=April 2008|url=] The Tambayan Center for Abused Street Girls reports more than 1,000 teenage girls have turned to prostitution in Davao City, charging as little as 50 cents. [ [ Asians in unhealthy crisis; Financial woes produce ill effects on depressed region's poverty-stricken ] ]


It is estimated there are 10,000 young girls trafficked into sex slavery in Cebu. [ BBC News | ASIA-PACIFIC | Radio helps sex industry victims ] ] "What has become very obvious is a growing market for child prostitutes," says Father Heinz, a Catholic priest who has been involved for more than a decade in initiatives to beat the pimps and child-traffickers.


More than a dozen of cybersex operations have been busted in the Pampanga province and Angeles City areas, this resulted in the rescue of hundreds of exploited women, most of them minors or below 18-years of age. Human trafficking or trafficking in person is some sort of slavery.Hundreds of computers sets have been seized, including sex toys and other gadgets used in the cybersex operations mostly maintained by foreigners.A forum hosted by the Prosecution Law Enforcement and Community Coordinating Service (proleccs) discussed several factors that contribute to the human trafficking problem and these include poverty, the proliferation of underground cybersex through internet and sex tourism.. [ [ Sun.Star Pampanga - Judiciary, PNP vow stop to human trafficking ] ]

Lucena City

Police have rescued at least 14 women, three of them minors, from the den of a suspected human trafficker. [ [ 14 trafficked women rescued in Lucena -, Philippine News for Filipinos ] ]

Trafficking Of Filipinas To Overseas Destinations

There are 150,000 Filipina women that are trafficked into prostitution in Japan as reported in the July 2, 1998 issue of the Daily Star. Some of them were sold allegedly sold to the Yakuza for $2,400.00 to $ 18,000.00. A news item that appeared in the May 31, 1995 of the Manila Chronicle reports that 150 Filipinas were sold into prostitution for $5,000.00 each by international syndicates to night club operators in some African countries particularly Nigeria. [ [ » » The Real Pinay Scandal ] ] A trafficker earns $3,000-$5,000 for each woman or girl sold in the international sex trade.. [ [ Women & The Economy - Globalization & Migration ] ] 150,000 Filipina women have been trafficked into prostitution in Japan.

ex tourism

An article in the newspaper "Davao Today" reports that, according to experts, the growth of tourism in the Philippines in places such as Cebu and Boracay, has given rise to the sexual exploitation of women and children. [ [ Davao Today - Fair. In-Depth. Relevant ] ] In a 2004 article, the "People's Recovery, Empowerment Development Assistance Foundation" (PREDA) reported in 2004 that ECPAT, which it describes as "a global network that campaigns against child prostitution", estimates that 300,000 sex tourists from Japan alone visit the Philippines every year. In the same article, PREDA reports, "many others are British." [Citation
title=In the clubs of the Filipino sex trade, a former RUC officer is back in business
author=Kathy Marks
date=28 June, 2004

Foreign pedophiles

The Philippines continued to assist U.S. law enforcement authorities in the transfer to U.S. custody of Americans who sexually exploited children. [ [ | Philippines ] ] Foreign pedophiles are a major problem in a poor country like the Philippines. Some foreign pedophiles are very well connected and have positions in industry and politics. Profile studies of these pedophiles show they come mostly from Europe and are usually well off, married and with children of their own.Some foreign pedophiles arrange with bribes and corrupt practices to get the children out of the country and abuse them in another county. [ [ Preda Foundation, Inc. NEWS/ARTICLES: "The Abusers" ] ] The problem of foreign pedophiles continues to be reported in the press. [ [ Preda Foundation, Inc. Headlines News: "Worlds Vilest Brits" ] ] Foreign pedophiles have operated openly in the Philippines. [] Government officials have been accused of turning a blind eye to the sex tourism trade because it helps promote tourism in the country. [ [ NAPAC -coverup ] ]

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has warned of a new modus operandi of foreign pedophiles in the Philippines, “The child molesters usually meet the mothers, sometimes even the grandmothers, of possible victims online and make them their girlfriends. The women usually let the economically better-off foreigners into their lives and their homes, not knowing that the men would later pounce on their young children.” BI Commissioner Marcelino Libanan told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. []

Efforts to control

Ani Saguisag, a lawyer with the child protection group, ECPAT, identifies lax enforcement of RA 76/10 as a major reason why so few offenders end up behind bars.

Department of Justice records show that from June 2003 until January 2005 there were 65 complaints received for alleged trafficking in persons violations in the entire nation. [ [ Statement On The 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report Of the US State Department/a> ] ]

Microsoft has awarded over US$1 million through its Unlimited Potential grants to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across six Asian countries, including the Philippines. The latest round of grants will deliver IT training courses specifically for people in human-trafficking hot spots across the region.cite news
title = Microsoft Partners With Asian NGOs To Fight Human Trafficking
publisher =
date= 2006-06-19
accessdate = 2006-12-19

Unicef executive director Carol Bellamy stated, The Philippines is among the few countries that are making a dent in the fight against the trafficking of women and children. She also stated, "This is not going to be easy, Bellamy said. "We are dealing with criminals and they are not stupid. There are lots of money to be made and they will go to any length to continue harming and exploiting children in this awful way". [ [ Global March Against Child Labour - From Exploitation to Education ] ]

Protection by Politicians and Police

Some local politicians, mayors and their business cronies continue to allow the operation of clubs and bars where children are used as sexual commodities along with young women. Many women will tell how they were recruited as young as 13 and 14. They issue permits and licences for all establishments and harass and threaten those trying to rescue the children, gather evidence and bring charges against them.The United States Embassy in the Philippines states that some officials condone a climate of impunity for those that exploited trafficked women and children [Citation
title=Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2003
date=February 25, 2004
publisher=Embassy of the United States in Manila
] Politicians in the Philippines work with local criminal gangs to do their dirty work and in return the gangs are given protection for their involvement in prostitution. [ [ Genric - News and Press Kidnapping and Security Issues in the Philippines - September 2002 ] ]

CATW-AP Executive Director, Jean Enriquez, expressed the groups concerns saying that many of the women victimized by politician-buyers are minors who are vulnerable and powerless. Also, most of them suffer various forms of physical violence, rape and degradation in the hands of customers and pimps resulting in low self-esteem and damaging their body and spirit.“These women, often referred to as criminals, are actually victims of the system of prostitution. The violence and abuses they suffer in the hands of customers and pimps cause deep wounds in their being. Sadly, this is made worse by politicians/government officials who buy and use them for (the purpose of) sexual exploitation. They are supposed to provide protection and support to women yet are the ones who inflict pain and suffering — they are the real criminals!” Enriquez said. [ [ prostitution ] ] The First National Conference of Victims-Survivors of Prostitution, held in Manila in October, charged the Philippines' government with committing human rights abuses. The women said that local governments, the Philippine National Police and the armed forces protect pimps and owners of businesses such as bars that promote prostitution, and that government officials themselves often use women in prostitution. [ [ Philippines: exploited women slam government | Off Our Backs | Find Articles at ] ] In 2008, IMA Foundation executive director Susan Pineda stated that, probably the series of raids on alleged prostitution fronts is mainly aimed to force the establishments to pay P50 daily per entertainer as "protection money" by some persons closely connected with City Hall. [ [ GMANews.TV - Arrest of Angeles City entertainers hit - Regions - Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs - Latest Philippine News - BETA ] ]

Presidential Anti-crime Commission has evidence that the police in Manila are selling the children to foreign tourists and diplomats information independently confirmed by journalists. []


In 2007, the government's Interagency Council Against Trafficking established its first anti-trafficking task force at Manila's international airport to share information on traffickers and assist victims.In 2006 the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) issued new employment requirements for overseas Filipino household workers to protect them from widespread employer abuse and trafficking. [ Country Narratives - Countries H through P ] ] In 1983, Sister Soledad set up STOP (Stop Trafficking in Filipinas), to carry information into rural Philippine communities, stimulate income-producing projects for rural women and pressure authorities who connive at trafficking. In February 1986 they were supported by President Corazon Aquino, who said at her first press conference, "I will do my best so that we will be able to provide jobs for our they will not have to resort to this." [ [ Feminism and Women's Studies: Prostitution ] ]


The Philippine government continues to rely heavily on NGOs and international organizations to provide services to victims.The Department of Social Welfare and Development operated 42 temporary shelters for victims throughout the country. Thirteen of these shelters were supported by a non-profit charity organization.Philippines law permits private prosecutors to prosecute cases under the direction and control of a public prosecutor. The government has used this provision effectively, allowing and supporting an NGO to file 23 casesin 2007.

The Philippine campaign against Child Trafficking—or PACT, is an anti-child trafficking campaign that was launched by ECPAT Philippines to raise awareness on the Child Trafficking phenomena in the country.The campaign also aims to encourage local mechanisms for the prevention and protection of children against Child Trafficking as well as other programs which are unified with the intensification of the human rights of children such as the holistic recovery and reintegration of child victims of trafficking. [ [ Child Protection in the Philippines | What's Happening ] ]

However, foreign sex traffickers and pedophiles often harass Catholic and other groups by lodging multiple libel and other suits. [] []

Action by foreign governments

Numerous overseas countries have introduced legislation [ [ CRIMES (CHILD SEX TOURISM) AMENDMENT ACT 1994 No. 105, 1994 - List of Sections ] ] which enables them to prosecute their nationals for crimes against children overseas, only a few pedophilles who have committed offences in the Philippines are charged and convicted back in their own countries for the offences.The Australian Government set up the "Australian Federal Police's Transnational Sexual Exploitation Trafficking Team" which investigates pedophilles in places such as the Philippines.Some countries from which sex tourism originates, including Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States, have passed legislation which criminalizes sex tourism.In the United States, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 makes travel with intent to engage in any sexual act with a juvenile punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment. [ Women's Action 12.1 ] ]

On September 15, 2003, the US Department of Labor / Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) / International Child Labor Program signed a collaborative agreement with the Philippines government, and contributed US$5 million, on a Timebound Program.The Timebound Program covers sexual exploitation and trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation. The program was geared towards working in various parts of the Philippines. [ [ | Philippines ] ]

The United States government provided a grant of 179,000 dollars to help a Philippine non-governmental organization expand its halfway house operations to help victims of human trafficking, according to a statement by the US Embassy in Manila. [ [ NGO gets $179,000-US grant for human trafficking victims -, Philippine News for Filipinos ] ]

The British Embassy in Manila organised a two-week course led by Scotland Yard detectives into techniques to investigate cases of child abuse.Subsequently, the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation set up an anti-child abuse division - the first squad dedicated to fighting child abuse in the country.

The United States has taken action under the 2003 PROTECT Act with a number of indictments. [ [ United States Getting Tougher on Child Sex Tourism - US Department of State ] ] [ [ 87-year-old man jailed for sex tourism - Breaking News - ] ]

7th Asian Regional Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect

A 2-day “"7th Asian Regional Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect",” of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN), opens on September 24, 2007 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza hotel in Pasay City, Philippines. It was organized by the Philippines’ Child Protection Unit-Network (CPU-Net), to be attended by 675 participants, including judges, lawyers, doctors, law enforcers and social workers, from 37 countries around Asia, Europe, North America and Africa. The theme “"Ako Para sa Bata (I am for the Child)",” includes issues such as child trafficking, children in armed conflict and natural disasters, child-friendly judicial reforms, and the involvement of media in promoting child protection. [ [, 675 child rights advocates to tackle abuse, neglect in forum] ]


Police in the Philippines have been known to guard brothels and even procure children for prostitution. [ [ Sex Tourism ] ] NGOs have complained that the local political and legal establishments protect pedophiles, sometimes even including law enforcement. [ [ Preda Foundation, Inc. NEWS/ARTICLES: "Baby Rape and Sex Tourism" ] ] [ [ Phililppines ] ] The United States Embassy in the Philippines states that some officials condone a climate of impunity for those that exploited trafficked women and children [ [ Embassy of the United States in Manila ] ]

The victims

Those involved in the kidnapping of children occasionally make video tapes of children being sexually abused. [ [ ABS-CBN Interactive ] ]

A 13 year old child Sharon tells how she was forced to service more than 1,500 clients before she escaped. "My back ached and I bled," she said, "I tried to run away but the guard at the door blocked my way and pushed me back into the room. I cried and cried all night."

The UN paper says there are also cases in which the children are "kidnapped, trafficked across borders or from rural to urban areas, and moved from place to place so that they effectively disappear". []

Children are at risk of hiv/aids from pedophiles. [ [ Patriarchy, Poverty, Prostitution And Hiv/Aids: The Philippine Experience ] ]

The prevalence of gonorrhea and chlamydia was 18.6% and 29.1% respectively. [ [ Microsoft Word - Nexus-Printdraft _11-20-02_-FINAL.doc ] ] Philippine law provides for compulsory HIV testing in some circumstances, and of course people may voluntarily be tested for AIDS. The Philippine government has provided a mechanism for anonymous HIV testing and guarantees anonymity and medical confidentiality in the conduct of such tests. [ [ Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998] ]

Men, Women and children involved in prostitution are vulnerable to rape, murder, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. [ [ An update on Swagman ] ] Some men said that it served them right to be infected by men. [ Blazing Trails, Confronting Challenges: The Sexual Exploitation of Women and Girls in the Philippines ] ] Wendy Chapkis, author of the book Live Sex Acts: Women Performing Erotic Labor in which she interviewed sex workers said at the 1998 National Women's Studies Association's annual conference at Oswego State University, "We as a culture believe that women who are sexual deserve what they get, are asking to be raped.". [ [ NWSA: Beyond the sex wars?] (on page 5 of 8)]

Abortion is illegal in the Philippines. Unsafe abortions render women vulnerable not only to infections and other health complications, but even to death. Because these abortions are carried out in illegal abortion clinics there is no record of how many women and children, if any, die each year as a result.

According to ECPAT chair Ron O'Grady, the chances of full rehabilitation are slim for children who have been sexually abused repeatedly. He adds: "We know that those children who are kept in brothels die quite young. (They) die in many cases before they have had a chance to live. We know they die from AIDS, from drugs and from committing suicide." [ [ Ron Corben, Losing the Fight Against Child Sex Trade? ] ] What sex tourism really means to the "real girls" is reflected in Poppy's words, captured by Ron O'Grady in his book, "The Child and the Tourist":"I found myself dancing at a club at the age of 11... I have had different kinds of customers, foreigners and Filipinos. I tried suicide but it didn't work so I turned to drugs. I want to die before my next birthday".

In the exploitative system of prostitution, bar owners and pimps make the most profit while the women are exposed to abuse, physical, emotional and psychological trauma.The absence of punitive measures for the male customers enables them to abuse the women in prostitution.The problem is compounded by the fact that society, even the church, discriminates against women in prostitution. [ [ :: Welcome to Manila Bulletin Online :: ] ]

Pimps bend the girls to their will, drug them. Degrading and humiliating the girls is at the discretion of their international clients. After two, three years the girls have lost their health and beauty. From then on, they are on offer at bargain price to local clients. The humiliation these girls have to go through often drives them into self-destruction. With no self-esteem their lives are on a dead-end journey. With drug addiction, unwanted pregnancies, venereal disease and Aids the girls go to rack and ruin. [ Dead link|date=April 2008|url=]

CATW, the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women lists numerous issues and adversities faced by women and girls in prostitution:

Problems Related to Health include: lack of comprehensive health services, not just on sexual health; women’s lack of knowledge of health issues; fear of doctors or medical professionals; and or risky health practices; drug use and risk from drugged client expensive and compulsory check-ups for issuance of health certificates; compulsory HIV tests and the lack of pre-test and post-test counseling, as well as the violation of confidentiality (publicly announced results) or no results given; lack of funds for hospitalization and health emergencies; forced intake of contraceptive pills and unsafe abortions.

Problems Related to the Law or the Legal System
* Abusive, discriminatory conduct of raids, including arrests, maltreatment during raids or while in custody, extortion for release.
* Women held in debt bondage.
* Restriction of movement.
* Anti-vagrancy laws are unconstitutional, i.e. they violate equal protection and are classist and sexist in their enforcement.

Problems Related to Services
* Lack of education, especially in the areas of literacy, rights awareness, and peer education.
* Women have the status of criminals.
* Inadequate support systems in the areas of counseling and legal assistance, as well as child care.
* The need for skills development, such as organizational and management skills, leadership, negotiation and documentation.

Problems Related to Violence Against Women
* Trafficking in women by syndicates that practice active, deceptive recruitment.
* Economic abuse, i.e. no work, no food and poverty.
* A high rate of rape.
* Domestic violence.
* Violence caused by barangay (village) officials (fees, competition, harassment).
* Harmful physical, emotional, and psychological effects on the women.
* The “salvaging” or summary execution, especially of sick women.

Organized crime of child trafficking

A special BBC investigation exposes the organized crime syndicates that control the child sex slavery trafficking in the Philippines.The investigation shows there could be 100,000 Philippine children involved in the local sex slavery trade. This crime gang has a system similar to that of the Sicilian Mafia, Yakuza and Triads. They often start as a trainee field recruiter, to running individual brothels, and then to overseeing an entire network - an underworld association. [ [ BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | 'Chairman' reveals seedy world of trafficking ] ] Local NGO`S refer to the organized crime syndicates as the sex mafia. [ Preda Foundation, Inc. NEWS/ARTICLES: "A Dirty Secret in the Philippines" ] ] From the Philippines, girls are delivered to prison-like brothels in the North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. [] The organizers of the trade are varied, as well: it's a strange alliance of the Japanese Yakuza, Chinese Triad, Russian and Italian Mafia, eastern European gangsters, Albanian kingpins, Latin American cartels, Nigerian warlords, Asian businessmen and American financiers and subcontractors. [ [ Sex Slavery: International Steps are Needed to Curb What Has Become A Global Scourge - Social and Economic Policy - Global Policy Forum ] ]


A court in Zamboanga City sentenced a member of a trafficking syndicate to life imprisonment in March 2007 for having recruited six victims and peddled them to a brothel in Sandakan, Malaysia.In 2006, law enforcement agencies filed 60 new trafficking cases with the Department of Justice. In 2005, police and the DOJ charged a police officer for allegedly trafficking minors for sexual exploitation at his Manila nightclub.In 2006, law enforcement agencies filed 60 new trafficking cases with the Department of Justice.


Revised Penal Code Article 202

Vagrants and prostitutes; penalty. — The following are vagrants::1. Any person having no apparent means of subsistence, who has the physical ability to work and who neglects to apply himself or herself to some lawful calling;:2. Any person found loitering about public or semi-public buildings or places or trampling or wandering about the country or the streets without visible means of support;:3. Any idle or dissolute person who ledges in houses of ill fame; ruffians or pimps and those who habitually associate with prostitutes;:4. Any person who, not being included in the provisions of other articles of this Code, shall be found loitering in any inhabited or uninhabited place belonging to another without any lawful or justifiable purpose;:5. Prostitutes.

For the purposes of this article, women who, for money or profit, habitually indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be prostitutes.

Any person found guilty of any of the offenses covered by this articles shall be punished by arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos, and in case of recidivism, by arresto mayor in its medium period to prison correccional in its minimum period or a fine ranging from 200 to 2,000 pesos, or both, in the discretion of the court.cite web
title = Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, Book 2
accessdate = 2006-12-19
publisher = Chanrobles Law Library

Revised Penal Code Article 341

Penal Code article 341 imposes a penalty to any person who “shall engage in the business or shall profit by prostitution or shall enlist the services of any other person for the purpose of prostitution."

Republic Act 9208

Section 4 of Republic Act 9208, otherwise known as the "Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003", deems it unlawful for any person, natural or juridical, to commit any of the following acts:

(a) To recruit, transport, transfer, harbor, provide, or receive a person by any means, including those done under the pretext of domestic or overseas employment or training or apprenticeship, for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;

(b) To introduce or match for money, profit, or material, economic or other consideration, any person or, as provided for under Republic Act No. 6955, any Filipino women to a foreign national, for marriage for the purpose of acquiring, buying, offering, selling or trading him/her to engage in prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;

(c) To offer or contract marriage, real or simulated, for the purpose of acquiring, buying, offering, selling, or trading them to engage in prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor or slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;

(d) To undertake or organize tours and travel plans consisting of tourism packages or activities for the purpose of utilizing and offering persons for prostitution, pornography or sexual exploitation;

(e) To maintain or hire a person to engage in prostitution or pornography;

(f) To adopt or facilitate the adoption of persons for the purpose of prostitution, pornography, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, involuntary servitude or debt bondage;

(g) To recruit, hire, adopt, transport or abduct a person, by means of threat or use of force, fraud deceit, violence, coercion, or intimidation for the purpose of removal or sale of organs of said person; and

(h) To recruit, transport or adopt a child to engage in armed activities in the Philippines or abroad.cite web
title = Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003
accessdate = 2006-12-19
publisher = Chanrobles Law Library

Republic Act 7610 - Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act

Sec. 5. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. - Children, whether male or female, who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following::(a) Those who engage in or promote, facilitate or induce child prostitution which include, but are not limited to, the following:::(1) Acting as a procurer of a child prostitute;::(2) Inducing a person to be a client of a child prostitute by means of written or oral advertisements or other similar means;::(3) Taking advantage of influence or relationship to procure a child as prostitute;::(4) Threatening or using violence towards a child to engage him as a prostitute; or::(5) Giving monetary consideration goods or other pecuniary benefit to a child with intent to engage such child in prostitution.:(b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse of lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subject to other sexual abuse; Provided, That when the victims is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph 3, for rape and Article 336 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, for rape or lascivious conduct, as the case may be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period; and:(c) Those who derive profit or advantage therefrom, whether as manager or owner of the establishment where the prostitution takes place, or of the sauna, disco, bar, resort, place of entertainment or establishment serving as a cover or which engages in prostitution in addition to the activity for which the license has been issued to said establishment.

Sec. 6. Attempt To Commit Child Prostitution. - There is an attempt to commit child prostitution under Section 5, paragraph (a) hereof when any person who, not being a relative of a child, is found alone with the said child inside the room or cubicle of a house, an inn, hotel, motel, pension house, apartelle or other similar establishments, vessel, vehicle or any other hidden or secluded area under circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the child is about to be exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. There is also an attempt to commit child prostitution, under paragraph (b) of Section 5 hereof when any person is receiving services from a child in a sauna parlor or bath, massage clinic, health club and other similar establishments. A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the consummated felony under Section 5 hereof shall be imposed upon the principals of the attempt to commit the crime of child prostitution under this Act, or, in the proper case, under the Revised Penal Code.cite web
title = Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act
accessdate = 2006-12-19
publisher = Chanrobles Law Library

Republic Act 6955 - Mail Order Brides

RA 6955 basically declares as unlawful "the practice of matching Filipino women for marriage to foreign nationals on a mail order basis."cite web
title = An act to declare unlawful the practice of matching Filipino women for marriage to foreign nationals on a mail-order basis and other similar practices including the advertisement, publication, printing or distribution of brochures, fliers and other propaganda materials in futherance thereof and providing penalty therefor
accessdate = 2006-12-19
publisher = Chanrobles Law Library

Republic Act 8042 - Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act

RA 8042 (Long title: "AN ACT TO INSTITUTE THE POLICIES OF OVERSEAS EMPLOYMENT AND ESTABLISH A HIGHER STANDARD OF PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF THE WELFARE OF MIGRANT WORKERS, THEIR FAMILIES AND OVERSEAS FILIPINOS IN DISTRESS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.") The act contains provisions which regulate the recruitment of overseas workers; mandate establishment of a mechanism for free legal assistance for victims of illegal recruitment; direct all embassies and consular offices to issue travel advisories or disseminate information on labor and employment conditions, migration realities and other facts; regulate repatriatation of workers in ordinary cases and provide a mechanism for repatriation in extraordinary cases; mandate establishment of a Migrant Workers and Other Overseas Filipinos Resource Center to provide social services to returning worker and other migrants; mandate the establishment of a Migrant Workers Loan Guarantee Fund to provide pre-departure and family assistance loans; establishes a legal assistance fund for migrant workers; and other provisions related to Filipino migrant workers. The act, approved on June 7, 1995, mandates that pursuant to the objectives of deregulation the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall, within a period of five (5) years, phase-out the regulatory functions of the [ Philippine Overseas Employment Administration] (POEA). cite web
title = Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995
publisher = Chanrobles Law Library

House Resolution No. 779

House of Representatives of the Philippines Citizen's Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Reps. Emmanuel Joel Villanueva and Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales, on September 24, filed House Resolution No. 779 to intensify the fight against human trafficking on all levels, from legislation, policy formulation, enforcement and prosecution, to rehabilitation and support for victims. Villanueva said: "Human trafficking is fast becoming a major transnational crime next only to the illegal drugs trade and illegal arms trade. Most of the victims of trafficking are being exploited as commercial sex workers, forced laborers and even unwilling organ donors. We must consider the reports of the victims that lack of funds and resources are key problems in the full implementation of the Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act, including the necessary support and protection." The National Bureau of Investigation (Philippines) reported "more than 400,000 persons from both government and non-government organizations who are victims of trafficking and almost 100,000 of these victims are children." Cruz-Gonzales said: "As of last year, only a little over a thousand cases were officially reported." [ [, Lawmakers want House probe on rising human trafficking incidents in RP] ]

Batingaw Network

On September 15 2007, the Children and Youth Secretariat of the Anti-Child Pornography Alliance (ACPA-Pilipinas) launched Batingaw Network to protect and save children from all abuses and exploitations. It is the biggest formation against child pornography (cyber-sex dens; Internet shops "with pornographic cubicles"). It declared September 28 as the "National Day of Awareness and Unity against Child Pornography"." [ [ Abs-Cbn Interactive, Batingaw vs child porn launched] ]

enate hearing

On September 15, 2004, the first hearing was held on escort services. [] followed by a second hearing on September 22, 2004, attended by well-known movie personalities [] and a third hearing, attended by representatives from KTVs. []

ee Also

Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003


[ Hope In Heaven]


External links

* [ Coalition Against Trafficking in Women]
* [ Gabriela network]
* [, Places to report Human Trafficking in the Philippines]
* [ BBC Investigation Into Organized Crime Control of the Sex Slavery Trade in the Philippines]

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