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Children Who Are the Victims of Trafficking

September 1, 1999 · 

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Published in Child Workers of Asia
(April – September 1999)

The most disadvantaged regions of the country, where poverty, unemployment, underemployment, landlessness and armed conflict combine to deny many children and their families the prospect of a secure future, are natural target areas for unscrupulous recruitment agencies. These agencies operate particularly in Samr-Leyte,Negros, Bicol, Cebu Province and Mindanao. They use a combination of deception, false promises and cashincentives to win over the parents or the child direclty… The agencies are well organised: they have a network of local contacts and recieve assistance in moving their human cargo; they have good connections with government authorities and fabricate contracts to attest to have lawfulness of their operations…

… direct action aime at assistin gthe victims of child trafficking is still in its infancy in the Philippines. There is a need for more effective and new approaches to detection, intelligence and rescue, and for a collaborate effort by national and local government agencies and non-governmental orgnisations. Studies should be undertaken to identify the geographical areas where recruitement take place and efforts made to mobilise the communities.Approaches should also be developed for action aimed at detecting and rescuing child victims of trafficking.. at combating the recruiters and the syndicates involved in trafficking of child victims for enforcement – which must be supported by measures to maintain and protect the victims who will act as witnesses and by rehabilitation and reintegration services-should go hand in hand with reconsideration of judicialm processes and development of child inspectors and other governmentofficials and the judiciary, a communication programme and a public declaration of commitment at the highest level to tackle the problems decisively. Finally there is a pressing need to assist in the training of sercice providers, to improve planning, monitoring, evaluation and coordination, and to strengthen peoples’ organisation which can play a major role in this struggle…

 Areas of Action Activities By whom/with whom
Prevention -Public declaration of commitment at the highest level against trafficking in children;-Initiate and intensify information campaign and publicize through media and various fora;

-Establish mechanisms to monitor and control movements of children in groups at embrkation / disembarkation ports.

– GOs, LGUs, Church, Unions, Employers;-GOs, NGOs POs, Church, LGUs, Unions, Employers;

-DSWD, NGOs.

 Protection (Removal) -Establish and improve intelligence network and methods of detection;-Form rescue teams;

-Review existing laws as regards applicability to child trafficking; revise or enact laws as necessary;

-Strictly enforce legislations:
>Quick and strict prosecution;
>Provide protection to victimis by ensuring support and maintenance;

-Streamline judicial process by establishing special courts to handle speedily child labour cases.

 -GOs, NGOs, POs, LGUs; DOJ, DOLE, NBI, PNP, DILG;

-DOJ, DOLE, NBI, DSWD, Legislature;

-DOJ, DOLE, PNP, NBI;

-DOLE, DSWD, DOH, DECS, LGUs, NGOs, Church, Supreme Court, DOJ.

 Rehabilitation -Attend to the immediate needs of freed victims through provision of food, shelter, medical attention, legal protection and counselling;-Design services and facilities for integration.  -NGOs, POs, Church, GOs,m Unions, Employers;-GOs, NGO,s POs, Church, LGUs.
 Capacity Building  -Trainging of service providers to improve planning, documentation, monitoring and evaluation;-Strengthen networking / coordination mechanism.  -GOs, NGOs, Church;-GOs, NGOs, Church.

Source: Attacking Child Labour in the Philippines – International Labour Office (ILO)

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