Christopher Adam Bagley, Ph.D., held the Senator Patrick Burns Chair of Child Welfare at the University of Calgary and is now Professor of Social Science at the Public Health Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, UK. His most recent co-authored book is Alice Sawyerr & Christopher Bagley Equality and Ethnicity: Studies of Self-Concept, Child Abuse and Education in a Changing English Culture, published by Brill of Leiden in 2017. Email: chrisbagley2@gmail.com

Susan Madrid has a BA from Cabanatuan University and is a high school teacher in social studies. She is also a community volunteer on behalf of adolescents and young women. Email: susanmadrid237@gmail.com

Padam Simkhada, Ph.D., is Professor of International Public Health, and Associate Dean (Global Engagement) in the Faculty of Education, Health and Community at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. He holds a concurrent visiting Professorship at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. His current research is on rehabilitation of sexually exploited women returning to Nepal; on mental health and suicidal behaviors in women in Nepal and Bangladesh; and on sexuality education for Nepalese high school students. Email: p.p.simkhada@ljmu.ac.uk

Kathleen King has an MSW degree from Calgary University and is a co-author, with Christopher Bagley, of Child Sexual Abuse: The Search for Healing (Routledge, 2003). Her daughter was murdered in 1997 by a serial killer preying on commercially sexually exploited girls and women. Kathleen is an active campaigner in Edmonton, Alberta for the rights of women who are victims of the sex trade industry. Email: brook.king@telus.net

Loretta Young, MSW, MPhil, RN and Christopher Bagley are marital and research partners. Loretta was Research Social Worker at Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, until 2012. Loretta and Christopher have numerous joint publications on ethnicity and self-concept in children in Jamaica, Ghana, Canada and the UK; and on therapy programs for victims of child sexual abuse. Email: loretta.yvonne.young@gmail.com


Background: Up to 2% of adolescents and young women are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) in the Philippines, an economically poor country that earns considerable revenue from “sex tourists.” Earlier research, in the 1990s in Metro Manila, described the living conditions of adolescents whose CSE was influenced by family poverty, their so-called “sex work” becoming a major source of income for families left behind in rural and provincial areas of Luzon. Recent research (up to 2014) indicates that conditions for adolescents experiencing CSE have, if anything, worsened.

Methods: Following the original study, the researchers were able to offer scholarships with funds from a Canadian charity, which enabled 84 girls to leave “sex work,” and return to high school.

Results: Follow-up 18 years later showed that being able to return to normal life, was successful for at least 61 (73%) of the young women who researchers were able to trace.

Conclusions: We advocate vigorous efforts to prevent the recruitment and trafficking of adolescents into commercial sexual exploitation, and extend our comments to recent Canadian policy initiatives for adolescents experiencing CSE, since our original study was based on a Canada-Philippines comparison. In advocating the ‘universal living wage’ solution for avoidance of CSE, we argue that demonstration projects such as this can be important exemplars for global policy development.

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