July 15, 2017. Nearly 500,000 Filipino women and children are trafficked for sexual slavery every year. Called to Rescue, an organization dedicated to rescuing minors from sex trafficking, violence, and abuse, hosted a program for bloggers at the Boutique Burger Kitchen to tell us more.
Two years ago, human trafficking was third out of the top 3 illegal trades in the world. But it’s already overtaken arms smuggling and is poised to overtake drug trafficking in the not-so-distant future. Every minute, a child or a woman becomes the victim of human trafficking.
On the issue of child trafficking, Called to Rescue Founder and President, Dr. Cyndi Romine, has this to say:
The problem is huge, but we’re making a dent… We can’t get discouraged ’cause the problem’s big. We gotta save one child at a time. One child is worth it!
Any parent would agree.
So how does Called to Rescue make this dent? They organize events to spread awareness, which facilitates communication and leads to prevention. In the coming week, they’re set to do 3 school tours in Biñan and Las Piñas. This has proven to be an effective avenue. It was at a similar gathering that students admitted to being molested by their professor. Action is now being taken to bring said professor to justice.
Called to Rescue Philippines, registered as a non-governmental organization in 2009, also works with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and local governments to perform rescue operations. They’ve succeeded in busting 7 major events in the last year.
Here’s an idea of what goes on at these events: For entrance to the open parties, participants, including foreigners, buy a 200-peso ticket that comes with a free condom. They mingle with kids, imbibe alcohol and drugs, and engage in sexual activity. The promotion for these events is usually done via Facebook, which is something to keep in mind when allowing our children to go on social media. These are the kinds of gatherings that lead to sex trafficking.
Why does sex trafficking thrive in our country? Called to Rescue Philippines’ Officer-in-Charge, Anthony Pangilinan, cites 7 reasons:
- The Philippines is an archipelago, making trafficking activity harder to monitor
- The lack of laws
- Poor implementation of existing laws
- Inefficient judicial system — less than 10% success in prosecuting those caught
- Migration mentality — children and families are so welcoming to outsiders
Called to Rescue, founded in 1988, dedicates itself to helping victims heal from their traumatic experiences and adjust back into society. They partner with individuals and organizations to provide care and counselling to the abused and even to the counselors themselves. They help defend the defenseless.
Donny Pangilinan, RJ dela Fuente, Stephanie Henares, Chef Carlo Miguel, and communications agency ComCo Southeast Asia are just some of Called to Rescue’s supporters. Donny and RJ use their talents to raise awareness among the youth.
As ordinary citizens, we too can help. We can report trafficking, abuse, and cases of missing children. Called to Rescue’s hotline, 0917-541-0287, is anonymous. It’s also your starting point if you’d like to contribute your time, resources, and services. Volunteers are always welcome to help spread awareness, care for victims, and lend a helping hand and a sympathetic ear.