Talikala – Protection of young women against sexual exploitation and human trafficking

According to the Government of the United States of America the Philippines are a country with especially gross failures in the field of human trafficking, because out of hundred of thousands proved cases of human trafficking only a very few were sanctioned in prosecutions. The sanctions against child trafficking were indeed tightened as a result of an amendment of the legislation in 2013, still, the new regulation has yet to demonstrate its effect on the reality of the situation.

Especially vulnerable to becoming victims of human trafficking are young women in rural areas. The socio-economic context of the province Davao del Norte makes the problem even worse. The primary economical activities are gold mining and banana cultivation for export. Major investors are employing the local population for simple (physical) work only, skilled professionals are mostly immigrating to the region.

Although the approximate number of human trafficking cases is high, public cognition toward the problem remains low. Human trafficking is considered more as a misfortune than as a criminal act.

The cooperation between AWO International and Talikala started in the autumn of 2010. In seven barangays (sub-districts) of Davao del Norte structures were built to protect girls and young women against human trafficking and sexual abuse. For that purpose Talikala has co-established BCPCs (Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children) and strengthened already existing BCPCs, so these can engage in their task as children’s protection units. These are institutional bodies in city districts containing participants from the state and the civil society. Girls and young women are educated about their rights and their self-confidence is strengthened. State institutions, which seek to prevent human trafficking and provide protection as well as legal assistance to the victims, were reinforced in their effectiveness.

Relevant target groups for the project in all districts were encouraged and revitalized through the establishment of community-based organisations and through additional support of social cohesion. This happened in two respects: First, different circles were established, as children’s groups, parents’ groups and support groups for the victims. Second, families were empowered in their naturally allocated role as a place of security and to enable the child’s personal development.

Talikala was founded in 1987. Its initial concern at that time was about the health condition of women who were involved in prostitution in Davao. Through the professional involvement with the complex problem as the very first organization to do so, Talikala has improved itself. At first specific health issues such as HIV/AIDS were discussed, later Talikala’s leading role in the representation of interests was acknowledged. The organisation became a member of several state and civil society networks and through its engagement it grew to be one of the most significant voices in the different bodies. Its direct involvement with the target group was characterised by case-management. Talikala cares directly about the victims through social workers, it collects relevant data and conducts victims to the courts.


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Talikala Inc.
Sputnik Corner Panganiban Street
Dona Vicenta Village 8000
Davao City, Philippines
Email: talikaladavao [at] gmail.com

Executive Director: Jeanette L. Ampog