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Slice of Life
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
PROSTITUTION is a form of violence, exploitation and alienation. The distinction between forced and free prostitution is a macho discourse to revert the violation on the rights of women in prostitution as an act of choice.
The Convention Against All Forms of Sexual Exploitation recognizes that there can be no supply of women and children without the male demand for prostitution; without the sex industry’s commodification of women and children and without the direct and/or tacit approval of governments in fostering sex tourism.
While prostituted women are criminalized, those who profit from the exploitation of women and children remain untouched. Government also continues to license and gain from the taxes paid by establishments engaged in prostitution.
Human trafficking has become a channel for prostitution to thrive. Most recruits, below 18 years old mostly end up as sex workers. The reported case of a nine years old prostituted child should shake authorities to move and provide support to women and girls stuck in the trade.
Trafficking in children and women remains to be an almost invisible problem. It is estimated that around 1.2 million children are being trafficked every year in response to the demand for trafficked children as cheap labor or for sexual exploitation. Child trafficking remains lucrative and linked with criminal activity and corruption.
The challenge could be endless especially in an environment where social stigma is attached to prostituted women and children. Where sexual activity is often regarded as a private matter, there is reluctance to act and intervene on cases of sexual exploitation.
In conflict and emergency situations, people prey on the vulnerability of families. Where there is weak psycho-social and economic support, many succumb to the promise of a better life. And in an environment where economic and tourism activities are focused on making women and children as an attraction, the market for women and child trafficking is conveniently laid out.
For prostituted women and girls, it is not about consent and choice but of lack of better opportunities and option to not only survive but also live a humane life.
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 08, 2013.