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Teens trade sex for rice – UNFPA

Republika

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) last week said that teenage girls were forced to have sex in exchange for bags of rice ever since the start of the pandemic.


At a Senate hearing with the committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality led by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, the UNFPA’s Gender in the Philippines revealed that some girls trapped in the scheme were as young as 13 years old.


According to the group’s head, Aimee Santos, they “have to assume that there are people acting with impunity and exploiting vulnerable people and coercing them to have sex in exchange for the vaccine.”


At the hearing, which centered on Senate Bill 2088, the Gender Responsive and Inclusive Pandemic Management Act, Hontiveros also called for more support for female overseas workers who were displaced by the pandemic.


“Women migrant workers face a whole new set of challenges due to the onslaught on the pandemic,” she said. “They may return to the Philippines prematurely (having) suddenly lost their income and livelihood. Maybe they are still in another country, but can’t be supported by their employers.”
“We need to extend every hand we can to our women,” she urged.


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