Solons: Hunt Suspects In Trafficking

MANILA, Philippines - Two brother-lawmakers have called on authorities to hunt members of syndicates luring Filipino pregnant women to engage in the trafficking of their unborn babies to foreign countries in exchange for huge amount of money.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Abante Mindanao party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr. said that the recruitment of pregnant women by these syndicates to perpetuate their illegal activities should be stopped. In filing House Resolution 2251, they urged the House committees on social services and welfare of children to look into the matter.

''They travel overseas legally as tourists then sell their newborns to waiting adoptive parents abroad,'' the Cagayan de Oro solons said. They said that the syndicates give them necessary travel documents, plane tickets and pocket money with the intent of having the child adopted as a form of a pre-arranged plan. He said that a case happened in Austria two years ago and in Malta last year. ''There is no reason for immigration agents to be suspicious about why a pregnant woman is going overseas.''

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reported that there are 60,000 to 100,000 children in the Philippines involved in human trafficking. The International Labor Organization estimated 100,000 Filipino children who are victims of human trafficking.

The Washington's 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report showed that the Philippines is overcoming its status as being included in the Tier 2 Watch List of United States' Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA). ''Things may soon turn for the worse again if a new form of human trafficking racket is not addressed, trafficking in unborn babies. There is a need to stop this new form of trafficking from proliferating and instead convince would-be-parents who wish to place their children up for adoption to comply with the legal process and go through the Inter-Country Adoption Board.''

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