DAVAO CITY , Philippines — There were 67 cases of human trafficking recorded in Davao region from January to September this year with one-year-old children among the victims of online exploitation, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT-XI) said.
IACAT XI and Davao Regional Prosecutor Office Deputy Prosecutor Barbara Mae Flores said in a press conference on Monday, November 19, that explicit photos and videos of children were being uploaded or sold online.
Data from IACAT showed that there were 42 were females and 25 males involved in the human trafficking cases.
Of the 67 human trafficking cases, 25 were new cases involving the prostitution of minors with the majority of these cases came from Davao City, according to Flores.
Back in July, a one-year-old victim was rescued by the authorities after being exploited by its adoptive parent. “Most of the perpetrators are one of the parent or relatives [of the child],” Flores said.
“What we noticed as ‘modus operandi’ of foreign pedophiles, they usually communicate first with a [female]adult. It’s the adult who will first have a ‘show’ online.” Flores said. “After they established trust, that’s the time a foreign pedophile will request for children.”
In Davao Region, there are still no foreign nationals convicted for these crimes. But there are nine pending cases against foreign nationals—1 New Zealander (deceased), 3 Koreans (at large), 3 Americans, 1 British (pending extradition trial in India), 1 Japanese.
For 2016 and 2017, the Philippines was placed in Tier 1 rank in the 2017 and 2018 US Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
It is the highest ranking given to a country that “indicates that a government has acknowledged the existence of human trafficking, made efforts to address the problem and complies with The Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA-US law) minimum standards.”
The Philippines was also given a BB rating in the 2018 Global Slavery Index. The country is among several countries recognized in terms of government’s strong response to combat modern slavery that includes forced labor and sexual exploitation of children.
Meanwhile, IACAT XI recently launched its month-long observance of the International Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
IACAET is body mandated by law to coordinate and monitor the implementation of Republic Act No. 9208, as amended, with the Department of Justice as the lead agency. (davaotoday.com)