PHILIPPINE-AMERICAN FUND
Monday, December 18, 2017
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  • Children's Legal Bureau

     

     

    PROJECT TITLE
    Empowering Communities and Building Partnerships for Anti-trafficking in Persons

    GOAL
    The project aims to prevent and protect vulnerable groups from trafficking and other forms of exploitation through awareness raising of duty-bearers, strengthening local network of referrals and prosecution of traffickers.

    LOCATION
    Cordova, Talisay City, and Bogo City, Cebu

    DURATION
    3 years

    BENEFICIARIES
    ·         460 Members of Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children (BCPC)
    ·         40 officials and/or personnel of city-level agencies
    ·         200 community watch group members
    ·         4,600 community members/parents

    BACKGROUND
    Cebu, the center of shipping and tourism in Central Visayas, is known to be a trafficking hotspot. There are alarming reports of trafficking for child cyber pornography and prostitution in the project’s three target sites in Cebu. In December 2015, two individuals were charged with trafficking and child exploitation after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security tipped off local authorities.  

    ACTIVITIES
    USAID, through the Philippine-American Fund, supports the Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB) in the prevention and protection of vulnerable groups from trafficking and other forms of exploitation by raising stakeholders’ awareness on trafficking, strengthening local referral networks and prosecuting traffickers. CLB trains frontline responders of local governments and other watch groups to detect and prevent trafficking and protect victims.  
    The organization also provides skills training and psycho-social counseling services to reintegrate rescued victims to their families and communities. They also engage local officials to pass counter-trafficking laws and cooperate better in investigation and rescue operations.  

    UPDATES AS OF MARCH 2017
    CLB rescued 47 victims, 91 percent of whom were sexually exploited girls. The rest were boys who were victims of labor trafficking. Of the total, 23 were given direct assistance through referral for temporary shelter to other NGOs such as FORGE, Happy Horizon, SOS Children’s Village, as well as the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Child protection teams continue to visit the remaining victims (24) to assess their readiness for reintegration and support services.

    Out of 23 who were referred to temporary shelters, eight were reintegrated to their families, while 12 girl victims, at their request, were provided with legal advice in pursuing cases against their traffickers. Paralegal officers of the organization also accompany them during trials to provide counseling support and avoid re-traumatization of victims.

    A total of 35 victims decided not to file cases. Reasons for non-filing include fear of reprisal, lack of parental support, and their inability to comply with the tedious prosecution process.

    CLB also trained 64 community volunteers, 63 percent of whom were female, in paralegal (31) and para-social work (33) in the target sites. These volunteers are mobilized as child protection teams to monitor the status of children who refused to file cases. They also provide assistance in case handling and addressing psycho-social needs of trafficking victims.

    Awareness raising campaigns reached a total of 10,369 individuals, 85 percent female, through film showing during local assemblies, in-school campaigns, and the DSWD’s Pantawid Program family development sessions. Reflection sessions with participants are conducted at the end of these sessions to reinforce anti-trafficking messages. These activities aim to increase vigilance of community members in detection of trafficking cases and reporting possible cases to proper authorities.

    CLB is now working on the expansion of their project to ensure the sustainability of community TIP prevention mechanisms in the target areas and to draw attention to issues that delay court cases in Cebu.

    ABOUT THE GRANTEE

    Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB) was established in 1997 and has implemented projects focused on child protection since with more than 15 years’ experience in doing Capacity Building, Advocacy, and Partnership Building activities related to child trafficking and other child protection issues. The organization has trained children, youth, and concerned government agencies for their engagement in litigation and prosecution of cases against trafficking in persons. It also provides psycho-social services to its clients through group therapy sessions, regular home visits, and family therapy.

    Archill Nina Capistrano
    Board Chairperson, CLB
    #10 Queen’s Road, Camputhaw, Cebu City
    Email: archil116@yahoo.com; archil116@gmail.com