Thursday, July 30, 2009

Updates and Questions on Human Trafficking

I was privileged to attend a Network on this kind of advocacy. I learned a lot about new forms of human trafficking and felt the vibrancy of child advocacy work again. Earlier, I only knew about sexual trafficking, but now they were talking about organ trading, surrogacy and even stem cell extraction! It was shocking at first to hear people from urban poor communities selling their kidneys at p70,00 per piece. Worse, women are selling their wombs in installment payment totalling P700,000plus. There was no mention of the amount of what it costs for stem cell extraction; perhaps, it was even higher...So, how can this be arrested? There was a sharing among police attaches from European nations. They were urging the communities to report to them evidences and encouraging them to support witnesses and victims of trafficking to pursue their case/s. But the problem is the same communities are in need of the 'lure of money' in exchange for their very organs. How can we encourage them to defy their own needs and hand themselves to the police as the very persons who condone such practice? I don't know...Then, the Secretary of a government agency blame it on 'dysfunctionality' of the families because they were the ones who encourage their own members to look for money and for jobs, accepting those jobs even when though there is high possibility that they will be exploited. Perhaps, the Secretary should give the people a comprehensive picture of the problem and not zeroing in the family as the 'root' of the problem...The very presence of the Network prove that it is a multi-factorial problem and need a more comprehensive viewing and not mere fundamentalizing of the phenomenon. (I believe she just wanted the people to veer away from blaming the government because the bigger factor is in fact poverty.)

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