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    Posted April 14, 2014 by

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    Sex trade in Philippines’ disaster-hit areas?

    TWO militant lawmakers on Monday called for a congressional inquiry into the alleged trafficking of women in the disaster-stricken provinces in the Philippines.
    In filing House Resolution 780, Reps. Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus asked the House Committees on Women and Gender Equality, and Welfare of Children to investigate reports that trafficking of women and children are rampant in the disaster-stricken areas.
    "Almost the entire population of the affected area of typhoon Yolanda, especially women and children, remain vulnerable to unscrupulous organized criminals among them human traffickers preying on the victims’ deplorable conditions," the lawmakers said.
    They added: "Women and children who survive the typhoon Yolanda and other disasters need to be protected from further exploitative and traumatic experiences such as human trafficking and other forms of violence."
    The authors said there was no awareness campaign, no warning from the local government units and other responsible government institutions against syndicates and individuals who will exploit survivors of calamities and disasters and traffic people for slavery and or prostitution.
    "Awareness campaign is necessary to protect the people and ensure their vigilance against trafficking," they said.
    The lady lawmakers stressed that to prevent trafficking, it is necessary to ensure self-sufficiency through livelihood programs and sustainable jobs, housing subsidy, if not housing services, to prevent people from being exploited or from falling prey sex trafficking and slavery.
    They cited a report of the Center for Women's Resources that human trafficking cases almost always follow after natural or man-made calamities to provide for the needs of the victims' own devastated families as the first documented cases of "exchange for rice" and "exchange for sardines" prostitution occurred in evacuation centers after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in Zambales province.
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