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 'Human trafficking cases in RP doubled in 2009'

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Female Number of posts : 880
Registration date : 2008-01-06

PostSubject: 'Human trafficking cases in RP doubled in 2009'   Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:00 pm

Human trafficking can involve the following methods:
• Prostitution and sexual exploitation – Prostitution is one of the biggest problems when it comes to human trafficking. Women traded in this manner may not even be aware of where they are headed to. Most of them are promised domestic jobs, only to find themselves sold on the streets.
• Forced labor, servitude and slavery – This is also a very common practice in the trafficking of human beings. Victims are forced to work against their will and without just compensation.
• Organ market – The organ market has rapidly grown over the last decade. It has become a common underground practice for wealthy foreigners to buy organs. Victims willingly give up their organs for cash. They are paid a very small percentage of what the middleman actually gets.
Other human trafficking methods usually involve the trade of children. Some of these methods are: illegal international adoption, children trafficked and traded into early marriage. Others are recruited as beggars and street sellers. Some are sold to cults and underground sports arenas.

MANILA, Philippines - The number of human trafficking cases in the Philippines doubled in the first half of 2009, a non-government organization said.

The Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc. (VFFI) said that in 2008, 90 human trafficking cases were lodged before Philippine courts. From January to June in 2009, or only six months, the number jumped to almost 200.

“This is an almost 100 percent increase. It is not easy, napakahirap po ng problema na ito [this is a very hard problem]," VFFI president Ma. Cecilia Flores Oebanda told reporters on Wednesday.

In most cases, she said, the workers were fooled by traffickers who promised deployment to Middle Eastern countries and were then sold into white slavery or prostitution rings.

“Sobrang dami ng nakukuha [There were so many recruited] for the purpose of forced labor," Oebanda said.

Oebanda lamented that only four of the 90 cases were prosecuted in 2008. Likewise, only 14 of the 200 cases in 2009 have been resolved.

“When it comes to prosecution, down tayo, ‘yun ang challenge [We’re not good with prosecution, that’s the challenge]," said the VFFI chief.

Because of these figures, the US State Department Trafficking in Persons report placed the Philippines in the Tier 2 Watch List.

Countries in Tier 2 Watch List supposedly do not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making “significant" efforts to do so.

Oebanda said Mindanao has been the concentration of human trafficking cases in the Philippine for the last three years.

The hotspot provinces in Mindanao reportedly include Cotabato, Maguindanao, and Davao.

An option

To help give victims of human trafficking better livelihood opportunities, the VFFI partnered with software giant Microsoft Philippines in 2006 for the Stop Trafficking and Exploitation of People through Unlimited Potential (Step-up) project.

The Step-up project gives information technology trainings to victims of human trafficking through its Community Technology Learning Centers (CTLCs) operated by VFFI’s local partners in cities like Manila, Batangas, Bacolod, Cebu, and Davao.

Under the program, participants undergo training on leadership and interpersonal skills and IT-related modules.

Included in the curriculum are courses on computer basics, word processing, presentation, database, and spreadsheet fundamentals, digital media, Internet, and web design.

Advanced courses on PC troubleshooting and hardware repair are also available.

“Through the technology skills training, former victims are able to find better career opportunities and get a new lease on life," said Oebanda.

The VFFI said that from May 2006 to June 30, 2009, a total of 16,256 young people have already been trained in their 20 CTLCs, 5,690 of whom have reportedly gained employment while 4,030 have opted to further pursue their studies.

Faced with positive results, Microsoft Philippines gave the group another software and cash grant worth $217,720 or more than P10 million to further expand the Step-up project.

“We’re embarking on the third phase of Step-up, to ensure that adequate support is provided to our fellow Filipinos who have been victims of demoralizing acts," said Karrie Ilagan, business marketing organization director of Microsoft Philippines. - GMANews.TV
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