Child Trafficking Prevalent Throughout Southeast Asia

Child trafficking is rampant in Southeast Asia, with hundreds of thousands of children caught up in this lucrative and shadowy business. The reporter looks at the situation in the Philippines, where poverty is high and jobs are scarce, and unscrupulous recruiters trick parents into selling their children into prostitution and slavery.

贩卖儿童的行为在东南亚地区日益猖獗,成千上万的孩子被这种有利可图的暗中交易所利用。记者来到菲律宾这个穷人多,工作机会少的国家来看看那些无所顾忌的人贩子是如何欺骗父母把孩子卖去从事卖淫和当苦力的。

Child trafficking has become big business in the Philippines, where children are lured from villages across the archipelago with promises of high-paying jobs in and around the nation's capital, Manila.

在菲律宾,贩卖儿童已经成为一种规模庞大的生意,人贩子到各个岛上去哄骗村民,保证他们的孩子能在首都马尼拉及其附近的地方获得高薪水的工作。

But once there, most girls end up in the sex industry, and boys often end up working as virtual slaves on farms and in fish markets.

可是到了那里,大部份女孩儿却被卖入性行业,男孩儿则到农场和鱼市场受奴役。

In Manila, U.N. Children's Fund child protection officer Victoria Juat says naive children and parents are lured by an old trick.

联合国儿童基金会驻马尼拉的官员华特说,天真的孩子和父母都上了一个老圈套。

"Normally they are promised, words like, 'Okay you will be a house help, you will be a saleslady, you will be a cashier in this restaurant.' But no, it will be something else," said Victoria Juat. "Later they find out no, they will be brought to a brothel, they will be brought to karaoke bars and they will become something else."

她说:“通常,人贩子保证说,‘你会去当一个管家,你会成为一个销售员,你会在餐馆里当收银员。’可是,事实却不是这样,他们后来发现,有的孩子被卖给妓院,有的孩子被卖给卡拉OK酒吧,他们会被迫去干别的工作。”

The crime of trafficking children exists throughout Southeast Asia. According to the State Department, the largest number of victims trafficked annually in the world come from this region, often to feed the booming sex-tourism industry.

东南亚各国都有贩卖儿童的勾当,根据美国国务院透露,每年全世界被贩卖的儿童大多数来自这个地区,他们往往是被卖给十分兴旺的性旅游行业。

As early as the mid-1990s, UNICEF estimated that close to 200,000 foreign child laborers, 70 percent of them boys, had been lured into Thailand from Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Southern China. Tens of thousands are trafficked within their own borders. UNICEF says as many as 35 percent of sex workers in the Mekong River nations are under the age of 17.

早在90年代中,联合国儿童基金会估计,有将近20万外国童工被拐骗到泰国,他们来自缅甸、老挝、柬埔寨和中国南部,其中70%是男孩。另外这些国家境内还有成千上万的儿童被贩卖。联合国儿童基金会说,湄公河流域国家的卖淫者中,多达35%的人年龄不满17岁。

UNICEF also says Thailand is a regional hub through which trafficked children are diverted to other cities and countries in the region, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan.

联合国儿童基金会还表示,泰国是贩卖儿童活动的中心,被拐骗的孩子从这里被转卖到香港、台湾和日本等地。

Cecilia Flores Oebande, the president of Visayan Forum Foundation, a private organization in the Philippines that helps to rescue and care for trafficked children, says it is a lucrative business.

菲律宾维萨扬论坛基金会是个民间机构,专门设法拯救和照顾被贩卖的孩子。这个组织的负责人欧本德说,贩卖儿童是一种有利可图的生意。

"It is, next to drugs and arms smuggling, it is the second most profitable business here in the Philippines," said Cecilia Flores Oebande.

他说:“贩卖孩子仅次于毒品和武器走私,其盈利的水平在菲律宾占第二位。”

Most of the children are brought to the capital by ship, the main mode of transport in this nation of more than 7,100 islands.

大部份孩子是乘船抵达菲律宾首都的。菲律宾共有7千1百多个岛屿,乘船是那里的主要交通工具。

The Visayan Forum has teamed up with the Philippine coast guard, the government's Port Authority, and the country's largest shipping company, Aboitez, to keep a sharp eye on arriving boats in the main ports, looking for possible traffickers traveling with groups of children.

维萨扬论坛基金会和菲律宾海岸警卫队、港口当局,以及菲律宾最大的船运公司阿伯特兹共同合作,密切注视进入主要港口的船只,寻找可疑的儿童走私犯。

The organization has operations in four main ports serving Manila, and says it rescues between 20 and 60 children a week. But officials say thousands are never found.

维萨扬论坛基金会在从属于马尼拉的4个主要港口都设立了办事机构。该基金会表示,它每个星期都救出20到60个孩子。不过有关官员说,还有成千上万的孩子再也找不到了。

Across the street from Manila's main North Harbor port, Visayan Forum runs an emergency shelter where rescued children stay for several days while social workers attempt to locate their parents.

维萨扬论坛基金会在马尼拉主要港口北港的对面设立了一个紧急庇护所,获救的孩子可以在那里住上几天,等待社工人员寻找他们的父母。

Marina Ulleque is a social worker with the Visayan Forum. She meets the boats at Manila's busy international sea port and hands out cards with emergency numbers to possible child victims, telling they can get help.

尤里克是维萨扬论坛基金会的一名社会工作者。她在繁忙的马尼拉国际海港接见船只,并分发给可能的儿童受害者紧急号码卡片,告诉他们可以得到帮助。

She says her work has its dangers. The Visayan Forum has filed nine criminal cases against traffickers on behalf of 31 children during the past three years. No trafficker has been convicted, but Ms. Ulleque says those arrested will sometimes threaten workers from her organization.

她说她的工作有其危险性。维萨扬论坛基金会在过去的3年里已经代表31名儿童提交了9起犯罪案件。没有一个人贩子被证实是有罪的,但是尤里克女士说这些罪犯有时将威胁来自她的组织的工作者。

"Sometimes they send their lawyers here and also they say, 'I am the relative of senator so-and-so and I am the friend of the station commander or the port police,' something like that, so we are being harassed," said Marina Ulleque.

尤里克说:"有时他们派来他们的律师来到这里,他们也说:'我是参议员等的亲戚、我是这个组织负责人或港口警察的朋友等等。'所以我们一直被这种情况所烦恼。"

One victim hoping for justice is 17-year-old Menchu, who has been staying for more than a year at a Visayan Forum safe house in Manila waiting for the case of the men who allegedly trafficked her to come to trial.

十七岁的受害人曼珠已经在维萨扬论坛基金会的马尼拉庇护所里住了一年多,她目前在等待贩卖她的嫌疑人出庭受审,受到法律制裁。

Menchu, who comes from a large, poor family on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, was recruited along with a group of friends with promises of high-paying jobs in a Manila restaurant.

曼珠来自菲律宾南绵兰老岛一个贫穷的大家庭。她和她的一些朋友被骗到马尼拉,因为人贩子向她们保证马尼拉一家餐馆会给他们高薪酬劳。

Menchu says that while on the boat, she and her friends saw two men approach their recruiter, and overheard them say the girls looked young and fresh.

曼珠说,她和朋友们在船上看到有两个男人向人贩子走去,并且听到他们说,这些孩子看上去很年轻稚嫩。

The terrified girls told the ship's authorities, and the traffickers were arrested, but Menchu is still waiting for her day in court.

惊吓之余,这些女孩子向船上的官员做了报告,人贩子终于落网,可是曼珠还在等待出庭的日子。

The president of Visayan Forum, Cecilia Flores Oebande, says urgent action must be taken to tackle the problem.

维萨扬论坛基金会的负责人欧本德说,必须采取紧急行动来打击这个贩卖孩子的问题。

"This is urgent, every day," she said. "We are running out of time, because every day there are children being trafficked. We need to fast-track our action or else it's maybe too late for all of us."

他说:“这是一个紧急的问题,我们的时间越来越紧迫,因为每一天都有孩子被贩卖,我们必须加紧行动,否则对我们大家来说也许都太晚了。”

Despite the efforts of local and international anti-trafficking groups, the problem is growing in Southeast Asia. Many experts say that the extreme poverty in the Philippines, Cambodia, Burma, Laos and Indonesia, combined with poor law enforcement and corruption, means that traffickers will continue to prey on the region's children.

尽管地方和国际组织努力打击人口走私活动,可是东南亚贩卖儿童的问题日益严重。很多专家说,菲律宾、柬埔寨、缅甸、老挝和印度尼西亚由于贫穷,加上执法无力和腐败,人贩子将会继续欺骗和贩卖这些地区的儿童。