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Child Trafficking a Heinous Crime

September 20, 2012 ·  By Fr. Shay Cullen

Child Trafficking a Heinous Crime
by Fr. Shay Cullen
(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times,in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)

Dublin, Ireland.  The most heinous crime one can think of is the abduction, trafficking, sale, rape and sexual abuse of little children. It’s a horrific reality that I meet every week but it has to be strongly and robustly countered and exposed.

The victims have to be helped protected and given therapy and a new start. The abusers must be brought to  justice. After the child trafficker and rapist, the next enemy and abuser is the person who fails to report and help the child.

We must support the good and dedicated officials that do help and fight for the rights of the child. Government and civil society must create an environment where the reporting of child trafficking and abuse is a moral, brave, and courageous thing to do.

Covering up and staying silent should be denounced and penalized as approval of the crime against the child. Trafficking of children for exploitation and abuse is a terrible crime that affects all countries, developed and underdeveloped, and we have to act to combat it wherever it is reported and discovered. Silence about such crimes amounts to consent.

Most people would prefer not to hear, read or know about it. Some church authorities, politicians and even police have covered up these crimes and must be held accountable. When we read a report of success and action to prevent and reduce trafficking and abuse of children, it’s important to highlight it in public.

The recent report “Safe Care for Trafficked Children in Ireland: Developing a Protective Environment”  in Ireland  reveals that not only have migrant children been trafficked in large numbers in the recent past but also Irish born children are being abducted and trafficked for exploitation, more likely for sexual abuse today.

Trafficking is the sex slavery of our generation,it found in almost every country. It is made possible by a sex -mafia, demand by  pedophiles, corrupt officials promoting sex tourism, and allowing child porn and a uncaring public.

The passing of a new Philippine anti-cyber crime law this September 2012 (RA 10175) is a   step in the right direction but since the anti-trafficking, anti-child abusive images laws have not been properly implemented, this may go the same way and the scourge will continue.

The bitter truth is that the legislators have manipulated the wording and content of the laws to make vital provisions non-effective. For example, the rapist that abuses a trafficked child will only get community service as a penalty for the first offense and for the second, a fine. ( They turned the making of the law into joke. Now a Municipal Mayor charged with trafficking had the case easily dismissed.

He is now charged with child sexual abuse and justice has stagnated. Charges before prosecutors can take up to six months or a year to be resolved; court cases can drag on for as long as two to three years, some even to five years. The children are abused by the system and those mandated to give justice and protect them.

In Ireland, firm political will, action by the Irish anti-trafficking police unit, and the campaign by child protection charities have greatly reduced the number of children trafficked. The report reveals that as many as 1,085 children disappeared in 2001 but by 2010 it was reduced to 97 that year. Yet no one knows what happened to those children.

The Irish government’s decision to end the practice of housing unaccompanied migrant children in hostels from where many children disappeared and likely trafficked for sexual exploitation helped save hundreds of children.

Much has yet to be done as the trafficking has been found outside the capital, Dublin. In Wexford, Sligo and Kilkenny, children have been trafficked according to the report. More can be done in Ireland. The Irish government has yet to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to be protected from child prostitution, child pornography and sale of children.

Migrant children are particularity vulnerable everywhere and among the thousands of Filipinos in Ireland, this ought to be a concern for them. They have to be sure that youthful relatives brought into Ireland or anywhere else are protected. Any suspected case of child abuse or trafficking in any country can be confidentially reported to any Irish child protection agency or to  In the Philippines, the Preda Foundation’s reporting hotline is  +63 917 532 4453 .  Preventive action to protect children from abuse is essential to save children. Report abuse today.  

The   Safe Care for Trafficked Children in Ireland: Developing a Protective Environment. report is available at  this  link.


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