DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A non-governmental organization received a report that a social media network has become a platform for children prostitution in this city.
Jeanette Laurel-Ampog, executive director of Talikala, Inc. on Wednesday, October 4, said they received a report last week on a string of conversation in Facebook which shows a transaction between a suspected high school student and a prospective client.
“We traced the conversation and found out that it was posted by a sister of a child who was allegedly trafficked for sex by a girl who we believe is still in high school,” Ampog said.
In the screenshots of the conversation Talikala showed to Davao Today, the girl suspected of trafficking other children was conversing with a client sending their photos through chat.
The exchanges of the chat messages showed it was done on September 2, September 11, and September 12. The post of the elder sister of the alleged victim of trafficking appeared on September 15.
The elder sister attached 29 photos on her post published 7:27 pm. She said her younger sister was “pimped” out by the high school girl. The account used by the elder sister, however, does not appear on Facebook.
In a September 2 conversation, the girl pimped a 13-year-old girl, and a 14-year-old girl on September 12.
Ampog said they received the report last Sunday, September 24. She said they do not know yet the age of the girl involved in conversing with a suspected customer, but they suspect her to be a student of a high school in the city. A photo posted by the girl showed her wearing a high school uniform.
Ampog said they plan to go to a high school here to confirm whether the name of the girl is enrolled in the school.
Once the identity of the child is verified, she said they will push for an interagency consultation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, City Social Services and Development Office and the Department of Education to address the concern.
‘What’s her FB?’
In the string of conversations, the suspected client asked the girl “what’s her FB?” The girl sent names to the suspect, who would later tell her to “send another one” or “find another one.”
In another screen capture dated September 11 to September 12, the suspect seemed to invite the girl to have a “smoke” and asked her to find “a young nice girl”
“I am free tonight. U find a young nice girl I have smoke tonight,” the suspected customer said.
Ampog said Facebook is now like “a catalogue” used by customers to look for a child or a woman.
“Prostitution is not limited to personal transactions in clubs, streets, or massage parlors and sex dens. Now, we see the influx of prostitution using technology,” she said.
Although transactions using social media were already raised by the group three years ago, Ampog noted that the problem on child prostitution remains unsolved.
For this year, Talikala served 75 children in prostitution, which is higher compared to the 57 children in prostitution served last year.
“The number does not yet include those who joined our seminars and trainings. The 75 children are those who are under Talikala’s case management,” Ampog said.
“If we include children who join our trainings and seminars they could reach around 200,” Ampog said. In 2015, Talikala served 72 children in prostitution. (davaotoday.com)Child Prostitution, Jeanette Ampog, prostitution, talikala