Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Child Trafficking worsens in Philippines

Human trafficking situation in the Philippines fell a notch after the US State Department kept the country on the Tier 2 Watch List on Wednesday. Tier 2 means that number of victims of severe forms of trafficking was increasing significantly.

According to the 2009 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report for the Philippines, the country was put on Tier 2 Watch List because the government failed to show evidence of progress in convicting human traffickers, particularly those in labor trafficking. The report added the situation here worsened, despite the significant government efforts.

The report described the country as a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. A significant number of Filipino men and women who migrate abroad for work were also subjected to involuntary servitude in Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Palau, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Filipino women were also trafficked abroad for commercial sexual exploitation, primarily to Hong Kong Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and countries in Africa, the Middle East and Western Europe.

Internally, women and children are trafficked from poor farming communities in the Visayas and Mindanao to urban areas, such as Manila and Cebu City, but also increasingly to cities in Mindanao, for commercial sexual exploitation or for forced labor as domestic servants or factory workers. An increasing number of women and children from Mindanao were trafficked internally and trans¬nationally for domestic work.

As a result, the Philippines ranked one notch lower in the Tier 2. The country has been in that status for three years.

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