THE other week, Sun.Star Davao ran a series of feature articles on human trafficking as we tried to draw a picture of how it has seeped into the very fabric of existence of the poor, who most of the time are lured into activities that destroy young lives forever, all in pursuit of money.
Despite the number of girls trafficked and the sob stories of women led to prostitution, millions are still being trafficked and falling prey to these glib-tongued recruiters.
As the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported, at any given period, around 2.5-million are being trafficked around the world.
In the report by Kriztja Marae G. Labrador published last December 21, 2015, she quoted Interagency Council Against Trafficking Davao Region Network (Iacat) unit head and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Davao project development officer Alma Acera stressing the need to spread the word about trafficking and its dangers as victims are getting younger while desperation against their impoverished states worsen.
"It (awareness) is as important as going to school, because if you are well informed you have that sense of self–protection because we cannot protect everybody. So it is much better that individuals would be aware so that can make sound choices," Acera said.
For how can a young girl barely out of her teens truly discern the dangers when the lure of earning for the family entices?
Worse, how can a two-year-old girl even know that she is being abused? As headlined in our December 24, 2015 issue, two women were found guilty of attempted Human Trafficking for teaching a two-year-old girl lewd acts for cyber pornography.
Acting on tips from informants, law enforcers served a search warrant on the two women and caught them in the act of instructing the toddler how to perform lewd acts in front of a computer for a foreign client.
Unimaginable, we might say. But that was then. This is the world now.
In the UNODC Global Report on trafficking in Persons 2014, it says: “The vast majority of the victims detected in Asia are females, either adults or underage girls. Trafficking of males accounts for about 17 per cent of the total number of victims detected in this region, which is somewhat lower than the global average. Moreover, trafficking in children is reported relatively frequently here.”
It’s here and it’s real, and we know where it breeds – within the impoverished sectors where both the victims and the predators thrive.
It’s made worse because of technology. Where lies the key? In education and in job generation, because it is in the absence of moral fortitude, proper information, and discernment that such modern slavery thrives, and it is in abject poverty where desperation breeds.