Child prostitution now harder to track-A A +A
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
THE proliferation of mobile phones is now making it more difficult to monitor the proliferation of prostituted children, a non-government organization (NGO) working with prostituted women and children said.
Jeanette Ampog, executive director of NGO Talikala, said these children who are enticed into prostitution are getting younger but can no longer be found in the streets as they used to be. The reason: they are now being contacted through text messages.
Prostituted children, she said, are between the ages of 12 to 17.
Children in prostitution, she added, are usually freelancers. These include the “akyat barko” in the city’s ports and the so-called “tuition girls.”
"It is hard to monitor them since they are rarely ever seen on streets nor in bars," Ampog said.
Poverty remains to be the main reason why children are enticed to sell their bodies, thus Ampog said the real solution to minimize the likelihood of children being prostituted is for government to provide programs that will provide livelihood for the poor families and the children.
Ampog said Talikala have already served 139 prostituted children.
She said most of these girls come from dysfunctional families, are out-of-school, and are battered and sexually abused. Many are victims of incest.
"Pero mas daghan gihapon ang above 18 na among na-serve (We still get to serve those 18 years old and above)," Ampog said.
Talikala, which celebrated its 25th anniversary Tuesday, gives awareness seminars and activities, and also provides counseling to give these women and children a way out of the flesh trade.
"Dili namo sila ma-blame ngano ana sila, lisod pud ilang kinabuhi. Ang ginabuhat namo, manambag ra mi. Naa ra na sa ila kung mubiya na (We cannot blame them for being in that situation. They live difficult lives. We are just here to give advice. It's up to them if they decide to leave the trade)," she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 08, 2012.