Articles & Press

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DOJ clears Visayan Forum of charges in connection with USAID grant

Dec 3, 2016

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has cleared a non-government organization (NGO) of estafa charges in connection with a USAID grant.

A statement from the Visayan Forum released on Friday said, the decision, signed on July 29 by Sr. Assistant State Prosecutor Merba A. Waga, Sr. Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore M. Villanueva, and approved by Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano shows that further preliminary investigations were not conducted due to lack of evidence.

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Trafficking foe Cecilia Flores-Oebanda fights to clear her name

May 16, 2013

Oebanda’s Visayan Forum fought trafficking in the Philippines for decades, but after allegations of embezzlement, her battleground shifted – CNN documents her work, the fallout and her comeback

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DOJ clears officers of anti-trafficking NGO of fraud raps over USAID grant

Dec 3, 2016

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice has dismissed criminal fraud charges against officers and staff of a nongovernmental organization that has won accolades for its efforts against human trafficking.

The Visayan Forum Foundation Inc. said in a statement that the resolution, signed July 29, by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Merba A. Waga and Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore M. Villanueva, and approved by Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano, found “insuffi­cient evidence to warrant the conduct of a further preliminary investigation” on the charges of estafa through falsification of commercial documents filed in 2012 by the National Bureau of Investigation on behalf of USAID, which was a key partner of the NGO.

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Voices of Faith: From freedom fighter to anti-trafficking activist

July 3, 2016

(Vatican Radio) A child labourer who grew up learning to scavenge for food. A freedom fighter and political prisoner who raised two children in jail. The indomitable founder and president of a forum fighting to combat human trafficking in the Philippines.

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Voices of Faith: From freedom fighter to anti-trafficking activist

July 3, 2016

(Vatican Radio) A child labourer who grew up learning to scavenge for food. A freedom fighter and political prisoner who raised two children in jail. The indomitable founder and president of a forum fighting to combat human trafficking in the Philippines.

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Former Child Laborer Has Helped Thousands of Victims

May 26, 2016

A former victim of child labor spent the last 25 years fighting so no other child has to endure what she did.

Cecilia Flores-Oebanda is the founder of the?Visayan Forum Foundation, an organization in the Philippines dedicated to combatting human trafficking.

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Vatican Asks to Improve Education for Girls and Women Worldwide

March 9, 2016

Cecilia Flores-Oebanda is defined as a freedom fighter. She has come to Rome to explain her difficult childhood, one characterized by child labor at 7 years old and, soon after, being a political prisoner in the Philippines. If four years in prison were not enough punishment, they also locked her up with her children.

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Filipina receives int?l award for fighting child-trafficking

November 11, 2015

A Filipina has been recognized as one of the 10 leaders worldwide who are pushing for an end to child-trafficking.

Cecilia Oebanda, the founder of Manila-based foundation Visayan Forum (VF), has been named one of the recipients of the the 2015 Child10 (C10) Awards in Stockholm, Sweden.

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How Human Trafficking Victims Fight Back

July 8, 2015

Manila, Philippines (CNN) ?Our safe house for human trafficking victims in Manila was recently attacked. The attackers threw rocks, pounded on the gates and cursed at social workers. Despite an increased police presence in the area, the group returned a few days later and left with 16 women who were sheltering at the house.

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Want to fight human trafficking? Check out VFF's holistic model

March 21, 2014

“The word ?slavery? evokes images of toiling laborers in agricultural plantations, a tragedy many would consider a thing of the past after having been abolished throughout the world.

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Helping our Laborers Help Themselves

July 15, 2013

Recently, I was in Hong Kong and read a news article about an upcoming football match between the Philippine team and the Hong Kong team that was going to be held there.? As I was browsing through the article, I was bothered by what I read.The football authorities of each country were working out a way to avoid a situation where there would be hurtful and derogatory chants shouted during the match by insensitive fans.??

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In the Philippines, a Fight to End Human Trafficking and Offer Refuge

October 17, 2012

FRED DE SAM LAZARO:?About 11 million Filipinos ? that?s more than 10 percent of this country?s entire population ? works overseas, everything from doctors and nurses, many in the United States, to substantial numbers of female domestic workers who go to other parts of Asia, and especially to the Persian Gulf and Arab countries.

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Child Domestic Work in the Philippines

There are hundreds of thousands of child domestic workers in the Philippines. The vast majority of domestics are girls, deprived of opportunities for education, isolated from their families and from opportunities to make friends, and under the total control of their employers. Child domestic labourers are invisible and marginalised both economically and socially.

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Cecilia Flores-Oebanda

Cecilia herself was five when she started working, and she has made it her life?s work to fight for the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable children. She founded the organisation Visayan Forum, which has rescued tens of thousands of girls from slave labour and trafficking. They do preventative work in towns and rural areas to stop children from being exploited.