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Philippine News Digest 92

November 25, 2006 · 

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Contents:
-25 OFWs victimized by white slavery group in Kuwait
-International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
-Children are people too

25 OFWs victimized by white slavery group in Kuwait
The Philippine STAR
Sunday, November 26, 2006

Twenty-five Filipino domestic workers in Kuwait were victimized by a white slavery group allegedly run by Bangladeshi and Filipino nationals, the Philippine embassy in Kuwait said yesterday.

Philippine Ambassador to Kuwait Ricardo Endaya said in an interview over Vice President Noli de Castros weekly radio program “Para sa Iyo Bayan” that 25 Filipino domestic workers were duped by the Filipino girlfriends and live-in partners of the Bangladeshi nationals allegedly running the white slavery syndicate.

Endaya said the victims remain in the custody of the embassy and have been giving Kuwaiti authorities information about the locations of prostitution dens run by the syndicate. He said the four Filipino cohorts of the Bangladeshis convinced the victims to leave their Kuwaiti employers with promises of jobs with higher salaries.

“It appears that they called these domestic workers who were later victimized,” Endaya said in Filipino. “They made friends (with the victims) and convinced them to leave their Kuwaiti employers with promises of other jobs.”

The envoy also welcomed the increase in the minimum salaries of domestic workers employed overseas to $400 as set by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). This salary hike covers all outbound domestic workers from Dec. 15 onwards. Pia Lee-Brago

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
The Manila Bulletin
Nov. 25, 2006

TODAY, we join the worldwide observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Violence against this vulnerable group “devastates lives, fractures communities, and stalls development.” World statistics show that one out of three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her. Violence against women is a universal problem. In 2002, the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation declaring violence against women a public health emergency and a major cause of death and disability among women in the 16-to-44 age group. A World Bank report cited violence against women as a serious cause of death and incapacity as cancer among women of reproductive age, and a greater cause of ill-health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.

Recognizing the role of women in nation-building and to ensure that they are accorded equal treatment and respect as men, several policies, laws, and mechanisms have been institutionalized in the Philippines. The Constitution guarantees equal rights for men and women and several national laws specifically prohibit discrimination against women. In particular, we have the anti-rape law, Family Code, the Magna Carta for Women, and other laws that have been expanded with the end in view of protecting women.

The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was instituted in 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly to raise public awareness of the serious problems confronting women worldwide. As early as 1981, women activists had marked the 25th of November as a day against violence of women.

As we celebrate this years International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, let us remember that legislative measures and other initiatives by government and concerned groups to protect this vulnerable group are futile unless adequate and consistent efforts are undertaken to eliminate discrimination, promote womens education, equality and empowerment, and ensure that womens human rights are consistently upheld and protected at all times and in all circumstances

Children are people too
By RONALD S. LIM
The Manila Bulletin
Nov. 28, 2006

“Noong bata pa ako, binibitin kami ng patiwarik ng lolo mo!” “Kapag makulit ako, pinaluluhod ako sa monggo!” “Sige, mag-ingay ka pa, ibibigay kita sa Bumbay!”

Its something that we’ve heard so often from childhood either as a joke or a threat. We often forget that children are subjected to cruel and demeaning punishment that scars them physically and emotionally, if not outright killing them, like the case of nine-year old Maria Delmar Redota who was forced to eat pencil shavings by her teacher.

This is not true in the Philippines alone. Research done in the United Kingdom shows that three-fourths of mothers have already hit or smacked their babies before the age of one.

Just this September, a couple in Hong Kong were convicted of manslaughter for locking and suffocating their 10-year-old son inside a suitcase when he refused to do his homework.

With such distressing events happening all over the globe, the Save the Children Sweden (SCS) in the Philippines organization is moving to have corporal punishment abolished all over the world. [End]

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