ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/ 24 Oct) — Females accounted for nearly 60% of persons rescued from suspected cases of human trafficking in Zamboanga Peninsula during the first six months of 2018, a social welfare official said.
Of 260 individuals who were rescued from possible trafficking in the region, 150 or 57.69% were females while the remaining 110 or 42.30% were males, Araceli Filoteo-Solamillo, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional director told MindaNews in an interview.
Solamillio said 81 of the rescued individuals belonged to the 23-27 years old age bracket, 50 to the 28-32 age range, 45 to the 18-22 age bracket, 28 were aged 33-37, 23 were aged 43 and older, and 20 were 38-42 years old.
There were 13 minors, 8 of whom were aged 13-17 while 5 were aged 12 and younger, she added.
The official said the cases include sexual exploitation (60), labor exploitation (25), illegal recruitment (8), irregular migration (8), and other causes (25)
“One hundred forty-two were intercepted, which could have been human trafficking cases,” she said.
She emphasized that economic condition is the “push factor” that drives people to a situation where they become victims of human trafficking.
Social worker Jacqueline Julpi said that 38 of these individuals were rescued at the seaport.
She said these are persons who wanted to go to Sandakan in Malaysia to work there but had no legal documents or did not pass through the legal process of recruitment.
“The presence of a direct trip to Sandakan via Tawi-tawi is a contributory factor for easy access of people in the Zamboanga Peninsula Region to migrate,” she said. (Frencie Carreon/ MindaNews)