DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT CLOSES TWO FRONTS FOR THE PROSTITUTION OF MINORS
16 suspected perpetrators charged with qualified trafficking
May 27, 2010 – MANILA: In the past two weeks, the Department of Labor and Employment – National Capital Region (DOLE-NCR) has closed two establishments found to be employing minors for prostitution. DOLE served closure orders on May 6 to Pacific Blues KTV Bar and Restaurant, and on May 20 to Grand Inihaw Bar, formerly operating in Parañaque City and Quenzon City, respectively. A combined total of twenty minors working the aforementioned establishments were rescued through operations conducted jointly by DOLE-NCR, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), supported by NGO International Justice Mission. Sixteen suspected perpetrators have been charged with qualified trafficking in association with these cases.
Petitions for Closure were filed after each successful rescue by International Justice Mission (IJM), a human rights agency working to secure justice for victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the Philippines. After finding the Petitions for Closure meritorious, DOLE-NCR ordered the establishments permanently closed under Republic Act 9231 (Act Eliminating the Worst Forms of Child Labor) and Republic Act 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act). The Orders of Closure, signed by DOLE-NCR Regional Director G Agravante, were successfully served by DOLE Senior Labor Employment Officer and Child Labor Program Coordinator, Ms. Aurora Halcon, Arbiter Atty. Benjo Santos M. Benavidez, and Sheriff Willy Gabipo.
“Shutting down an establishment that violates Republic Act 9231 is a [an act of] significant advocacy for us and our partners,” said Ms. Halcon. “For the owners of KTV Bars in Metro Manila, these closures send the clear message that employing minors in prostitution is one of the worst forms of child labor with grave consequences under the law.”
For more information, contact:
IJM Office: 632.637.3983
About International Justice Mission – Manila
International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to promote functioning public justice systems. Based in Washington, D.C., IJM works in 13 countries around the world.
IJM has been combating human trafficking in the Philippines for nine years. IJM’s four-fold purpose is to rescue the victim from the abuse and exploitation, provide aftercare assistance to the victim, prosecute the perpetrators and hold them accountable for their acts, and seek structural change to prevent the exploitation from happening again. Since 2001, IJM investigators and lawyers have worked with government partners and non-governmental organizations to successfully rescue 208 victims, arrest 175 suspects, close down 30 bars, and convict 8 persons of trafficking.