Southeast Asia • Philippines

Halting child trafficking and sexual exploitation

Time and again, children and women on the Philippine island of Mindanao become victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. In addition, cases of sexual abuse on the Internet are becoming more frequent. Together with our partner organization Child Alert Mindanao, we implement protective measures and education programmes and strengthen the rights of children and women.

In trainings and workshops children and young people learn about their rights and how they can fight for them. (Photo: AWO International)In trainings and workshops children and young people learn about their rights and how they can fight for them. (Photo: AWO International)

The Philippines are among the countries where the rate of child trafficking and child prostitution is particularly high. It is estimated that around 100 000 children are forced to work in prostitution and sex tourism. The number of unreported cases is probably even higher. With the rapid development of information technology, the phenomenon of cybersex has also spread: Shops are opening up in the furthest corners of the Philippines, where children are forced to perform sexual acts in front of cameras. A major cause of child trafficking is poverty. In addition, many people are very poorly informed about the subject.

Together with our partner organization Child Alert Mindanao, our project strengthens the resistance of women and children against sexual exploitation and abuse. To this end, Child Alert Mindanao works together with local government agencies, communities, youth and parent organizations, schools and private institutions. Community organizations and social service providers are trained in the protection of children and how to deal with cases of abuse. Access to government social services is improved for children, parents and communities. They are able to obtain necessary support in the areas of health, education, housing or work.

Strengthen rights and demand implementation of laws

Children, young people and parent organisations are encouraged to play an active role in the fight against trafficking and sexual abuse. They are empowered through training to become advocates of children's rights in their own communities. To this end, our partner organisation provides information and education in communities, offers training in advocacy and leadership and organises human rights campaigns. The private sector is also being brought on board to fight sexual exploitation: the management staff of private institutions are taking part in community awareness campaigns and dialogues and are helping to create child-friendly and safe places.

A strong legal basis and corresponding laws are essential for the protection of children and women. Therefore, Child Alert is working within the project to improve local legislation by adopting and adapting guidelines and laws at village, municipality and city level. Often protective laws are already in place in the Philippines, but there is a lack of implementation at the local level. Therefore, the project includes a mechanism for the effective implementation of laws and policies to protect against sexual exploitation.

Our partner organization Child Alert Mindanao was founded in 2006 in Davao City and has been working for the protection of children ever since. As the name suggests, it alerts local government units, communities and the private sector about the human rights situation of children. The team promotes and advises on the establishment and safeguarding of structures and mechanisms to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Similarly, Child Alert creates awareness among children about their own rights.

Project information

ProjectHalting child trafficking and sexual exploitation
Place/RegionMunicipalities of Kapalong and Talaingod, and cities of Samal and Tagum in Davao Del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines
PartnerChild Alert Mindanao
Target group

Children, young people and their parents, communities, victims of sexual abuse on the Internet and trafficking for sexual exploitation

  • improving access to social services and employment opportunities for vulnerable communities
  • strengthening of CBOs (Community Based Organizations)
  • capacity building of government organisations and the private sector
  • Implementation of existing directives and adoption of new ones
Budget78.967 Euro p.a.

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