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German Doctors Provide Free Treatment
Mindanao
By Ralf Falbe
15 Feb 2016

Hilltribe people get free medical treatment in the hospital of the German Doctors in Valencia, Mindanao, Philippines.

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Filipino
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

Filipino man with his arm raised in Cebu City. Here the locals are getting free medical treatment once a week by the NGO German Doctors and Filipino Volunteers.

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Guns`N Kids
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

Young girl plays with a plastic toy gun in a village near Cebu City, Philippines.

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Children of a Philippines Slum
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

Children in a Shanty Town in Cebu City, Philippines. The NGO German Doctors offers free medical treatment to the people here.

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German Doctors NGO
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

A Filipina volunteer nurse works with the NGO German Doctors to provide free medical treatment in a village of trash collectors near Cebu City in the Philippines.

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German Doctors Hospital
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

A nurse examines a child at the German Doctors Hospital in Cebu City, Philippines. The NGO German Doctors offers free medical treatment to the city's slum dwellers.

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Slum Dogs in Shanty Town
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
12 Feb 2016

Friends in a shanty town in Cebu City, Philippines. Documentary for the NGO German Doctors.

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Chinese Cemetery
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
11 Feb 2016

Chinese cemetery in Cebu City, Philippines

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Filipina Girl
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
11 Feb 2016

A young Filipina girl in the slums of Cebu City, Phlippinies where the NGO German Doctors offers free medical treatment.

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Homeless Children in Shanty Town
Cebu City
By Ralf Falbe
11 Feb 2016

Homeless children play with an umbrella, while their parents wait for a free consultation with doctors in Cebu City, Philippines. Homeless people live in the tombs at the Chinese cemetery and get free medical treatment once a week provided by the German Doctors and Filipino volunteers.

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Thai Migration Meeting
Bangkok
By GonzaloAbad
29 May 2015

Mr. Robertson, Deputy Director Asia of Human Right Watch, speak with us about first impressions of "Thailand Migration Meeting" and migration.
Bangkok, 29 May 2015

The Royal Thai Government is organizing the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in Bangkok. The Special Meeting is an urgent call for the region to comprehensively work together to address the unprecedented increase of irregular migration in recent times. 

The meeting will provide a forum to exchange information and views in addressing the unprecedented increase of irregular migration by sea. Senior officials responsibility for the issue from 17 countries in the region most affected by irregular migration by sea are expected to participate in the meeting, namely, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand. In addition, the United States of America and Switzerland will participate as observers. Three international organizations, namely the UNHCR, UNODC, and IOM will also join the event.

The key topics of discussion will include:
1. Finding urgent solutions for the 7,000 irregular migrants estimated to be remaining in the Indian Ocean;
2. Finding long-term solutions to the problem of irregular migration in the Indian Ocean, particularly those related to human trafficking;
3. Addressing the challenges in countries of origin. 


Key objectives of the meeting are:
1. Promote international cooperation in solving the problem, and engage key affected countries of origin, transit, and destination, considering that Thailand is a country of transit;
2. Emphasize the principle of international burden sharing;
3. Engage constructively with countries of origin and in the region.

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Manila Street Scene
Manila
By Ralf Falbe
09 May 2015

Traffic on Mabini Street in the Ermita District, Manila, Philippines.

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Sex Tourism: The Philippines' "Superm...
Angeles City, Philippines
By David Tacon
27 Apr 2015

Known as the ‘supermarket of sex’, Angeles City’s Fields Avenue red light strip in the Philippines originally arose to service the former Clark US Air Force Base in the Philippines. Today solo male travelers, mainly from all over Asia (but mainly South Korea), Australia, United States, Europe and the Middle East constitute the bulk of arrivals at Clark Airport, the former military airport. Men flock to Fields Avenue bars and nightclubs filled with young women from impoverished rural areas – women with little education and few prospects. For around US$70 the men pay a bar fine (locally known as an Early Work Release) to take a young woman back to their hotel. The women keep a third of this fee. Prices are considerably lower away from the main bar strip.

The booming industry in sex tourism in the Philippines since the closure of Clark Air Force Base has left behind a generation of children, many of whom have never known and will never know their fathers.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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"Pagpag": Manila's Junk Eaters
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
05 Mar 2015

Text: Javier Triana / Photos: Álvaro Barrantes

The Padilla family are masters of junk food. None of them work in Mc Donalds or in local fast-food chain Jolibee, but they spend hours with their products in-hand. When the sun goes down in and those franchises are about to close, leftovers take on a whole new life in the slums of Manila. The Padillas re-fry the leftovers at their own home, de-bone them and pack them into small plastic bags ready to sell to the poorest among the poorest. "Pagpag," as it is called, is an ingenious solution for these people to fill their bellies.

"I would prefer to do something different, but now I'm too old to apply for a job, and pagpag generates enough income for my family," says Jessica Padilla, 35, mother of five.

The Padillas know it's prohibited by the Department of Social Welfare and Developement, but pagpag (literally "shake off," the dirt from the edible) pays the school fees for their children and provides them with enough food.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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Junk Eaters 1
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
05 Mar 2015

Chicken bones being swept in the Padilla's slum-house, after the re-cooking, de-boning and packing process.

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Junk Eaters 2
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
05 Mar 2015

Ezequiel Padilla takes a break from re-cooking 'pagpag'to watch Jessica Padilla and his cousin de-bone and pack the meat in plastic bags.

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Junk Eaters 3
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
05 Mar 2015

One member of the Padilla family sweeps the chicken bones in the Padilla's slum-house, after the re-cooking, de-boning and packing process.

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Junk Eaters 7
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
05 Mar 2015

Danilo Valdra has a bite of recently prepared 'pagpag' inside his slum-house in Baseco, Manila.

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Junk Eaters 8
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
05 Mar 2015

Danilo Valdra cooks 'pagpag' in a wok, adding onions, tomatoes and soy sauce in his house in the Baseco slum, Manila.

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Junk Eaters 21
Manila, Philippines
By Javier Triana
05 Mar 2015

Ezequiel Padilla and a customer at the Padilla's 'pagpag' stall in the Baseco slum market, Manila.

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Domestic Workers Face 'Modern Slavery...
Hong Kong
By Miguel Candela
01 Mar 2015

320,000 migrant women are exposed to all kinds of physical and psychological abuse in the domestic service sector of Hong Kong. This story is a testimony of their experiences and struggles.

After being repeatedly abused and realizing that her situation would not improve, in a desperate attempt, Kamsiah ran away from her employer's house without money or documentation. Subsequently she was accused of stealing her employer's wallet which was said to contain around 900 US Dollars. Unfortunately, false accusations are a common practice to pressure migrant workers and avoid paying the wages owed to them. Barefooted, without money nor documentation, she sought refuge in a 24-hour fast food restaurant and waited until another compatriot helped her and took her to a shelter.

Esther C. Bangkawayan is the director of Bethune House shelter, where foreign domestic helpers who suffer abuse find shelter, food, and legal advice. They now house about a dozen women in trouble, but at times they even have to squeeze around 20 people in the small house nestled beside a church in Kowloon. A domestic helper herself, Esther is campaigning the government to scrap two rules she deems unfair: one which forbids employees from changing their employers more than three times a year, and another one which doesn’t allow them from changing to work at another sector of the economy.

42 year old filipino domestic helper Grace signed a misleading labour contract to work in Hong Kong but she instead ended up in Dalian, a northeast Chinese city 1,979 km far from Hong Kong. After confronting her employer about the situation, Grace was put into a return flight to Hong Kong without her pending salary and with only 200 RMB in her wallet. Grace has made now a formal complaint against the recruitment agency which made her labour contract. However, she is not very optimistic regarding her chances of recovering the debt of 40,000 pesos she currently has in the Philippines.

Eni Lestari, Indonesian, is the spokesperson for the Justice for Erwiana Committee. A domestic helper herself, she hopes to get justice for one of her compatriots, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, who came to Hong Kong seeking for a better life and future but instead found a form of modern slavery. Erwiana’€™s employers hit her so severely that her brain has sustained irreversible injuries. As a result, she is unable to walk properly and has blurred vision. Her employer punched Erwiana so violently that her teeth cracked. She was sent to Indonesia with her body full of bruises and 8 US dollars in her pocket. Outraged immigrants like Lestari demand now justice and prison for her attackers. The Court has already declared them guilty and sentence is pending.

On Sundays thousands of Indonesian women gather in the streets and public spaces around Hong Kong to take advantage of their only day off. Most take their own food and an umbrella and talk to their friends all day long.

“€œWe barely have any money, so we have to take our lunch from our employer's house and sit in any public space that we can so we can enjoy our leisure time with our friends,”€ said Kamsiah.

To enjoy their free time and to get to know other immigrant workers in Hong Kong, immigrant groups organize activities for the women, such as beauty contests and self-defense classes in Victoria Park.  Persaudaraan Setia Hati Terate Fight Club teaches women to protect themselves from abusive employers.

Not only helping the women get away from the world of domestic work for the little time they have off or boosting their ability to defend themselves, such activities are the only social contact many have; and friends made during Sundays can be of great importance when difficulties arise.

FULL ARTICLE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
25 Feb 2015

February 25, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Robert, 18 months, and his mother, Mylene, 37, at their home in Balibago. Mylene used to recruit girls from Manila for work in Angles City red light district and met Robert's father a US citizen while at Owl's Nest, a go go bar in Fields Avenue. After a 20 month relationship with the 55 year old three-time divorcess who lives in the Philippines on a tourist visa, he left Mylene for another woman. Although the father signed Robert's birth certificate his new girlfriend convinced him not to get his son a US passport. He sends money to Mylene and his son occasionally.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
25 Feb 2015

February 25, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Robert, 18 months, and his mother, Mylene, 37, at their home in Balibago. Mylene used to recruit girls from Manila for work in Angles City red light district and met Robert's father a US citizen while at Owl's Nest, a go go bar in Fields Avenue. After a 20 month relationship with the 55 year old three-time divorcess who lives in the Philippines on a tourist visa, he left Mylene for another woman. Although the father signed Robert's birth certificate his new girlfriend convinced him not to get his son a US passport. He sends money to Mylene and his son occasionally.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
25 Feb 2015

February 25, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Azumi, 2 years old, and her mother Angelica, 25, at accommodation provided to them by Renew, a charity that helps Filipina women leave the sex trade. Azumi's mother claims her father is a German named Ralf, 50, who is the owner of Camelot bar on the Fields Avenue red light strip. Ralf has been confronted by both Azumi's father and a represntative from Renew, but he denies that Azumi is his daugher and also refuses to take a paternity test. Angelica is now in her second year of a college degree.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
25 Feb 2015

February 25, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Azumi, 2 years old, and her mother Angelica, 25, at accommodation provided to them by Renew, a charity that helps Filipina women leave the sex trade. Azumi's mother claims her father is a German named Ralf, 50, who is the owner of Camelot bar on the Fields Avenue red light strip. Ralf has been confronted by both Azumi's father and a represntative from Renew, but he denies that Azumi is his daugher and also refuses to take a paternity test. Angelica is now in her second year of a college degree.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Peter, 8, and his mother Grace, 35, with a picture of Peter's Australian father, Max, Peter and the child of a family friend taken during one of Max's visits to the Philippines. Grace met Max when she was 24 and he was 78, while she was working in a bar in Angeles City's red light district. Unlike many children of sex tourists' Peter's father signed the boy's birth certificate, helped him obtain an Australian passport and bought them the house in which they live. Grace and Peter have not heard or received financial support from Peter's father in four months. Grace hopes to obtain welfare payments from the Australian government.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Peter 8, at a small restaurant near his home in Balibago. His mother Grace met Peter's Australian father when she was 24 and he was 78, while she was working in a bar in Angeles City's red light district. Unlike many children of sex tourists' Peter's father signed the boy's birth certificate, helped him obtain an Australian passport and bought them the house in which they live. Grace and Peter have not heard or received financial support from Peter's father in four months. Grace hopes to obtain welfare payments from the Australian government.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Peter 8, and some of his classmates outside the Learn Yearn Nurture School for Young near his home in Balibago. Four of the 50 students at this private primary school have Australian fathers.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Francine, 7, (right) sits in her family's home in the Hadrian 3 slum as her grandfather washes vegetables. Francine whose father is Australian lives with, her mother, her five half siblings, her aunt and her two children and her grandfather in their 70 sq metre home. Francine has never met her father who ceased contact with her mother shortly after she informed him that she was pregnant. Her father met her mother while she was working at a bar on the Fields Ave red light strip.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R):- Francine, 7, her mother Susan, 35 and her son 19 month old son James in their home in the Hadrian 3 slum. Francine has never met her father who ceased contact with her mother shortly after she informed him that she was pregnant. Her father met her mother while she was working at a bar on the Fields Ave red light strip. Susan receives money from her Filipino boyfriend, the father of James, sent from Saudi Arabia where he works in construction.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Francine, 7, whose father is an Australian, with her 19 month old half brother James. Francine's father had a one night stand with her mother while she was working at Blue Nile go go bar in the Fields Avenue red light strip. Francine has never met her father and her mother has no contact with him.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Francine, 7, whose father is an Australian sits in her home in the Hadrian 3 slum. Francine has never met her father, a sex tourist with whom her mother has no contact.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Tristan, 3, (second from right) his mother Jennifer 32, Tristan's half sister Fiona, 7 (second from left and a cousin (left) look at a picture of Tristan's Australian father, which his mother saved from his Facebook account. Jennifer met Tristan's father, Jason, an Australian now living in America while she was working at Dolls House go go bar on the Fields Ave red light strip and visited Tristan when he was one month old. Tristan and his family live next to a garbage dump in the Hadrian 3 slum and receive occasional fanancial and material suport from Jason, a manager at Ikea in California and his parents.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - (L-R): Fiona, 7, Tristan, 5, and their mother Jennifer 32, at their home in the Hardian 3 slum. Jennifer met Tristan's father, Jason, an Australian now living in America while she was working at Dolls House go go bar on the Fields Ave red light strip and visited Tristan when he was one month old. Tristan receives occasional financial and material support from Jason, a manager at Ikea in California and his grandparents.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - , Nelcy, 30, Renz, 8, (left) whose father is believed to be Norwegian and his mother Nelcy, 30 (second from left) with his two half brothers at their home in the Hadrian 3 slum. Nelcy says Renz's father, Frank, who is in his 60s and lives in the Philppines with his Filipina wife was a regular at the Dirty Dog go go bar where she used to work. After she became pregnant, she was unable to contact Frank. When she saw him on the street after her child was born and she approached him, he refused to believe he was father to her child. "Sometimes he's bullied by others kids because he's different", says Nelcy, "but he always fights back."

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
24 Feb 2015

February 24, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Francine, 35, (top left) and at their home in the Hadrian 3 slum. Francine, 7, (right) has never met her father who ceased contact with her mother shortly after she informed him that she was pregnant. Her father met her mother while she was working at a bar on the Fields Ave red light strip. Susan receives money from her Filipino boyfriend, the father of James, sent from Saudi Arabia where he works in construction.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
23 Feb 2015

February 23, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Bar workers in bikinis stand on a podium at 'Crystal Palace' go-go bar on Fields Avenue. This red light strip, that originally arose to service the Clark US Airforce Base, which closed in 1991, is a centre for international sex tourism. The bar workers, who are from impoverished rural areas, earn money by customers buying 'lady drinks' or providing sex to customers who are mainly from South Korea, Australia and the US. At bars such as this one on the Fields Ave 'Walking Stret, bar workers earn one third of the approx $70 bar fine (locally known as an Early Work Release) to go home with a customer. Prices are considerably lower away from the main bar strip.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
23 Feb 2015

February 23, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Bar workers in bikinis stand on a podium at 'Sea Star' go-go bar on Fields Avenue. This red light strip, that originally arose to service the Clark US Airforce Base is a centre for international sex tourism. The bar workers, who are from impoverished rural areas, earn money by customers buying 'lady drinks' or providing sex to customers who are mainly from South Korea, Australia and the US. At bars such as this one on the Fields Ave 'Walking Street,' bar workers earn one third of the approximately $70 bar fine (locally known as an Early Work Release) to go home with a customer. Prices are considerably lower away from the main bar strip.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
23 Feb 2015

February 23, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Traffic is slow on a Monday evening on the Fields Avenue 'Walking Street'. This red light strip, that originally arose to service the Clark US Airforce Base is a centre for international sex tourism. The bar workers, who are from impoverished rural areas, earn money by customers buying 'lady drinks' or providing sex to customers who are mainly from South Korea, Australia and the US. Most visitors fly in for the weekend.

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Sex tourists' children in Angeles Cit...
Angeles City
By David Tacon
23 Feb 2015

February 23, 2015, Angeles City, Philippines - Pole dancers peform at 'Dolls House' go-go bar, one of the largest estabishments on Fields Avenue. This red light strip, that originally arose to service the Clark US Airforce Base is a centre for international sex tourism. The bar workers, who are from impoverished rural areas, earn money by customers buying 'lady drinks' or providing sex to customers who are mainly from South Korea, Australia and the US. At bars such as this one on the Fields Ave 'Walking Stret, bar workers earn one third of the approx $70 bar fine (locally known as an Early Work Release) to go home with a customer. Prices are considerably lower away from the main bar strip.