UP forum tackles child trafficking

By: Intern December 10,2015 - 02:07 AM

A FORUM on gender-based violence was held at the University of the Philippines Cebu Wednesday last week.

This was organized UP Cebu Gender and Development Office, Sidlak Gender Resource Center in Central Visayas and UP Cebu Political Science Society.

The forum was in line with the ongoing 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Children, and focused on the issues of women and child trafficking, webcam child sex tourism (WCST), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus  awareness.

Lawyer Vincent Isles of the Children’s Legal Bureau discussed the child trafficking situation in Cebu; Arnie Fernandez Arquiza of Terre des Hommes Netherlands talked about combating WCST; and Dr. Helen Madamba of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center dealt on the topic HIV cases and awareness.

“Human trafficking is real. It’s here in our backyard,” said Madamba, an advocate for children’s rights.

“As long as there is one person who cares to devote time, effort, and energy to fight all the evils in the world, there is hope.”

Arquiza talked about the situation of child sex tourism in Cebu, and the success of the Sweetie Project: Focus on Demand, a project aimed at identifying and capturing sexual predators online.

“There are 750,000 sexual predators online,” Arquiza said. “For as long as WCST is being patronized online, I’m sure the less-fortunate families will expose their child to do sexual acts online for financial gain. So that’s why there is a need for a paradigm shift,” he said.

Reactions from panelists and an open forum were also held during the program. The panelists were lawyer Virginia Palanca Santiago, president of Legal Alternatives for Women Inc.; Rosita Sabal, community organizer from Women’s Resource Center of Visayas; and Milmosa Cang of UP PolSci Society.

The 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Children runs from Nov. 25 to Dec. 12, with the theme, “End VAW (Violence Against Women) Now!” /UP Cebu MassCom student Kershey Reign E. Dueñas

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TAGS: Children’s Legal Bureau, Sidlak Gender Resource Center in Central Visayas, University of the Philippines Cebu, UP Cebu Gender and Development Office, UP Cebu Political Science Society

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