We, the undersigned citizens, believe that prostitution is a severe form of women’s human rights violation and should be immediately addressed, towards elimination.
We, therefore, strongly urge our honorable Senators and House Representatives to immediately pass the anti-prostitution bill or SB 711, sponsored by Senator Jinggoy Estrada, addressing the system of prostitution, imposing penalties on its perpetrators, providing measures and support services for its victims and decriminalizing vagrancy, repealing for the purpose Revised Penal Code Art. 202 & 341. The counterpart bill at the House of Representatives is HB 1656, sponsored by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Maximo Rodriguez Jr.
The bill decriminalizes persons exploited in prostitution and punishes the business and buyers of prostitution as they consist the demand side to this system of exploitation. The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), together with survivors and other women’s groups, have been lobbying for its passage in the last 9 years. The Violence against Women and their Children Act of 2004 (RA 9262), the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (RA 9208) and the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 (RA 8353), all took 8-10 years before their passage. It must be more than enough waiting for the women’s groups for this law to be enacted. We will support and continue to monitor developments regarding this bill.
- Rescue from Trafficking Situations or from Arrests
- Legal and Medical Assistance
- Temporary Shelter
- Healing, counseling, group therapy
- Education of survivors on women’s human rights and building their capacity on leadership and self-organizing
- Facilitation of Formal Education – elementary, high school and college
- Support for matriculation, transportation and food
- Piloting of Cooperative-type Livelihood Program: lends money and supports “Minindalan sa Maginhawa”