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Stemming the tide of prostitution

August 04,2014 - 03:32 PM

Poverty overrides whatever claims to dignity some indigent families have as they continue to market and sell their children to foreign pedophiles despite the seeming best efforts of the provincial, national and foreign governments.

The arrest of two Lapu-Lapu City-based mothers last week comes on the heels of the arrest at a Cebu City port of a Japanese man and the mother of a minor who sought money to fund the education of her daughter and other children.

To be fair, we have no doubts that these parents wouldn’t sell their children to foreigners if they can afford to support them. Have you read or learned about stories of middle class and rich parents in Cebu pimping their children to foreigners? If there are, no one’s talking.

Too often though, we learn of stories of foreigners arriving in Cebu to visit children of indigent families who invited them to finance their children’s education as in the case of Japanese visitor Masahiro Shinoda.

While the minor’s affidavit never explicitly stated that she had sex with Shinoda, the fact that she did admit to sleeping alone with him, a complete stranger, raises grounds for inappropriate behavior at the very least.

Meanwhile, the filing of child pornography and trafficking charges against the mothers of the children who were allegedly sexually abused by Australian Peter James Robinson will be a painful memory for both parents and children who only wanted a way out of their dismal poverty.

One need not hire a psychologist to determine why indigent parents do this to their children. They do need counseling and alternative options to escape the lure of easy big money obtained through prostitution.

The arrest of Shinoda and Robinson are but indicators of the local government’s intensified efforts to crack down on trafficking but arresting perpetrators isn’t enough.

The tide of trafficking cannot be stemmed nor overcome through arrests and prosecution of suspects alone, for they eat up considerable time and don’t deter others from engaging in the lurid trade. If anything, it may have encouraged them to be more ingenious and discreet in plying their children to foreigners.

Cordova had been identified as a trafficking hotspot but Metro Cebu cannot be ruled out as hunting grounds for pedophile foreigners. Local government officials should include and even prioritize the campaign to stamp out trafficking in their development plans even if it means pooling their resources with neighbors who can ill afford to do so because of other priorities.

But the community remains key in the campaign against trafficking. If they cooperate and inform the authorities about these activities and pool their efforts to help each other, we may yet see the day when prostitution of Cebu’s children and women will end.

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TAGS: children, porn, pornography, prostitution, sex

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