A women’s party list group scored the Arroyo government and the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) for the intensified trafficking of Filipino women and children. To show their disgust for the Arroyo government and the GFMD, the Gabriela Women’s Party held a protest parade this morning at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Pasay City.
Gabriela Women’s Party’s “Parade of Pinays for Export (PX),” highlighted the plight of Filipino women who were trafficked as mail order brides, domestic workers and caregivers, and prostituted women in countries such as the US, Singapore, Japan, Kuwait, and Canada, among others.
According to reports, some 300,000 to 400,000 Filipino women are victims of trafficking yearly. They are among the 12.3 million victims of forced labor or servitude worldwide.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said that the Philippines belongs to the top five countries in the world with the most number of human trafficking victims, 80 percent of the victims are female minors. The DFA reported some 238 cases of trafficking in 2007, 212 of these are cases of sex trafficking in Singapore.
Cristina Palabay, Gabriela Women’s Party secretary general, said that Arroyo’s labor export policy ‘legitimizes the trafficking of our women and children to precarious and exploitative situations in host countries.’
”Without jobs and livelihood within the Philippines, victims are lured, deceived and facilitated by profit-hungry syndicate recruiters and even government officials with promises of different jobs, good compensation, high wages and benefits,” Palabay said.
Palabay disclosed that despite the enactment of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act in 2003, there were only eight convictions involving 11 persons out of more than 200 cases filed in violation of the law.
Palabay also said that by highlighting the Philippine government as the role model among nations for exporting labor and by pursuing regular and protective forms of migration, ‘the GFMD’s role in the promotion of trafficking of women and children becomes clearer.’
Palabay said that with the generation of some $28 billion from the illegal industry of trafficking of women and children, the GFMD sees trafficking as a ‘profitable industry.’
The group will participate in the International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees (IAMR), a counter forum to the GFMD, on October 28 to 30. (Bulatlat.com)