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Sex Exploitation and Review of Related Literature

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    This chapter presents compilation of related literature and writing of recognized experts, both of which have significant bearing or relation to the problem under investigation. Sexual Exploitation range from 300,000 to 500,000 here in the Philippines. Sexual exploitation is defined by various legal documents that define who qualifies as a “youth”, and how youth are treated differently than adults when involved in the sex trade.

    Prostitution was taken as an a inevitable choice women made as if prostitution was there to be chosen. According to Le ly Hayslip recounts both the slave traffic military prostitution in Vietnam, usually procured and exchange by corrupt Vietnamese for American GI’s stationed in Vietnam. While Jennifer Letsetter stated that in Korea, Sexual Exploitation there increases a girl’s social status, her worth, and her economic contribution to her family. Moon states that “war, with its accompanying poverty, social and political chaos, separation of families, and millions of young orphans and widows, ‘mass-produced’ prostitutes, creating a large supply of girls and women without homes and livelihoods.”.

    There are many explanations as to why women became military-base prostitutes during the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Philippine occupation, but the most frequent reasons are attributable to either socioeconomic status or government exploitation. Not only in the Philippines that women are vulnerable in prostitution or sexual exploitation by foreign service men but also in Korea and in Vietnam which is also very rampant.

    Moon, the author of Sex Among Allies, points out, foreign governments thrived on the misconception that prostitution could increase socioeconomic status. In reality, military-base prostitution did little more than rip young girls away from their homes and throw them into a tumultuous and degrading lifestyle. Olongapo at Subic Bay, an American naval base near Manila, had such a huge problem with prostitution that the U.S. government funded the establishment of clinics for the military prostitutes to get checked for venereal diseases. These clinics, however, were only accessible to those “hostesses” who were licensed to serve the U.S. soldiers, of whom there were approximately 6,000.

    According to online article, women support project in UK, that the nature of sex exploitation is that, commercial sexual exploitation is part of the spectrum of men’s violence against women and children. A practice by which a person achieves sexual gratification, financial gain or advancement through the abuse or exploitation of a person’s sexuality by abrogating that person’s human right to dignity, equality, autonomy, and physical and mental well-being. Sexual exploitation eroticizes women’s inequality and is a vehicle for racism and “first world” domination, disproportionately victimizing minority and “third world” women.

    Coping Strategies are Cultural. There are no standards for coping strategies, they vary depending on, and are influenced by socio-cultural factors. People can adopt new coping mechanisms on the basis of lessons learned in the past and these mechanisms can consolidate in what we call culture, new to you, special programs for sexually abused teenagers should be conducted by the agency concerned and assisted by the NGO’s (the government centers). Their rights under the existing laws, victims of sexually abused women should be observed and respected.

    Condition of Women and Girls in Prostitution The CATW Asia Pacific branch-sponsored consultation held 17-19 April 1997 in Cebu City in the Visayas brought together direct service organizations, which target women and girls (and some men) in prostitution, and government agencies that directly offer programs and services to women and girls or have something to do with the legal system (see Appendix 1 for the list). This list compiled in the consultation reflects the present situation of women and girls in prostitution. The problems faced by women and girls in prostitution can be summed up in four major categories: problems related to health; the law or the legal system; services; and violence against women (CATW, April 1997).

    In another report written collaboratively by WEDPRO, CATW-Asia Pacific and Buklod, the situation of women and girls in prostitution was highlighted. The report, “The Philippine Report—Women and Children, Militarism and Human Rights: International Planning Meeting” May 1-4, 1997, Naha, Okinawa) summarized the socioeconomic and cultural impact of prostitution on the women and their communities. In a nutshell, the report underscored the situation of sexual exploitation and its relationship to violence against women, women’s health and the low status of women.

    The report contextualized the situation of women and girls, especially during the presence of the U.S. military bases in the country, but noted as well that the situation has not radically changed despite the withdrawal of the foreign troops from Philippine territory. Survivors of military prostitution continue to feel and suffer the trauma of their situation, as no programs were set up for them or their families after the bases closed. Moreover, prostitution continues, albeit in the context of heightened sex tourism in the former baselands, and within the context of “national development” and base conversion plans.

    Therefore, is a complementation of legal and normative measures. While we hold perpetrators, such as rapists and buyers of prostitution sex, accountable, we hope and act to create new generations of men who will reduce the demand side of trafficking. However, underdeveloped countries the Philippines are also destination countries. A common variable therefore, is the existence of a demand side, where men expect to be given sexual services and where businesses and other establishments capitalize on the vulnerability brought about by poverty and gender inequality. Forms of trafficking that can be gleaned from the various national data in Asia are the bride trade, sex tourism, military prostitution, and trafficking in the guise of overseas employment or adoption.

    While the victim is the one often seen in trafficking, there are several actors, who exploit that have to be named – recruiter, pimp, conniving airport officials, immigration officials, establishment owner in destination countries, buyers, governments that consider overseas migration as primary employment strategy, and governments that earn from the sex industry. The specific impact on the women and their communities in the former US bases is contained in WEDPRO’s study conducted in January-June 1990 when it was commissioned by the Legislative-Executive Bases Council (LEBC) along with 13 other consulting groups to study the possible ways to convert the baselands into economically productive areas sans the bases, and to determine the needs of the women in the “entertainment” industry.

    The comprehensive conversion program proposed by WEDPRO in 1990 to the LEBC is contained in a publication called From Carriers to Communities which is the popular version of the Technical Report submitted by WEDPRO to the LEBC. The conversion program proposed by WEDPRO and the other consulting groups which addressed the urban poor sector, indigenous communities of the Aetas and the base workers, were deemed the “human face” of the conversion program and was approved by the government of then President Corazon Aquino as priority projects for immediate implementation as soon as it was submitted to the Office of the President. Between July 1990 up to 1991, intense lobbying and advocacy were done by the “human face” groups. To date, the local and national governments have implemented nothing out of those studies.

    Lee, Lynn and WEDPRO. “From Carriers to Communities, Alternative Employment, Economic Livelihood and Human Resource Development: The NGO Version of the Bases Conversion Program for Women.” WEDPRO, Quezon City, Philippines, March 1992. Miralao, Virginia A., Celia O. Carlos and Aida Fulleros Santos. “Women Entertainers in Angeles and Olongapo: A Survey Report.” Women’s Education, Development, Productivity and Research Organization (WEDPRO) and Katipunan ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayan (KALAYAAN), Quezon City, Philippines, 1990. Pearl S. Buck Foundation and Task Force on Amerasians. “Agencies Collaborating Together with Amerasians, Their Families and Communities: A Project Proposal.” Manila, Philippines, 1996. “The Philippine NGO Report on Women: Issues and Recommendations. A Document for the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women.” Karen Tanada and Rosalinda Ofreneo, eds. National Steering Committee of NGOs (NSC), Quezon City, Philippines, January 1995. “Philippine Human Development Report 1994.” Published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Makati, Philippines, 1994. Sturdevant, Saundra and Brenda Stotlfuz. Let the Good Times Roll: The Sale of Women’s Sexual Labor Around U.S. Military Bases in the Philippines, Okinawa and the Southern Part of Korea. Berkeley, California: U of California P, 1991. Summary Report on Development and Sexual Exploitation of Women and Girls: A National Consultation on Prostitution Among Direct Service NGOs and Agencies.” Sponsored by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific, Cebu City, Philippines, 17-19 April 1997. “Visitation, Organizing and Advocacy Project for Streetwalker Prostituted Women in Quezon City: An Annual Report.” BUKAL,, Quezon City, Philippines, 1997. WEDPRO. “Prostitution and Trafficking of Filipino Women: A Matter of Fact, a Matter of Flaki” (a draft report). Quezon City, Philippines, 1997. WEDPRO. “From Angeles to Olongapo, to Davao, Cebu and Manila: The Continuing Lives of Women in the “Entertainment” Industry.” Quezon City, Philippines, 1995.

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