Youth Pimps

In May 2006 the Action Research Team of Bahay Tuluyan, composed of eight youth researchers who were also former street children, launched their book 'Youth Pimps of Malate / Ang Batang Bugaw sa Malate'.

The research, and book, began with the young researchers identifying the issue of youth pimps as an emerging issue in their community of Malate, Manila. They saw the challenges this issue posed for their community, particularly for children, and decided to conduct their own research into the issue.

The book they produced profiles the experiences of six youth pimps who shared their thoughts, feelings and dreams. The Action Research Team believes that by understanding the situation of these pimps more comprehensively, we are in a better position to help the women and children who are forced into prostitution to escape from this vicious and damaging trade.

Some excerpts from the stories of the youth pimps follow.

On the personal backgrounds of pimps and child abuse:

"My Kuya Cardo and Kuya Delio used to beat me when I was small. I was a smart arse then, if I talked back, they would hit me with a piece of wood, two inches by two inches. Other times I would be slapped, I'd be lucky if I only got hit on the back of the neck. My father would usually intervene, most of the time too late. My mother would just cry, her tears didn't help. There were times I got beaten so badly and it only stopped when I went to Bahay Tuluyan" page 45

On the prostituted women/children:

'...JR admits he doesn't always know if the prostitute is really young because many of them look mature for their age. If he knows the prostitute is a minor he tells her to keep it secret. To his knowledge, the youngest girl he has a pimped was 13 years old, often they are 16 years old....' page 49

On health:

'When it comes to taking care of the prostitutes, the youth pimps said that it is up to the prostitute how she takes care of herself. There are those who use condoms to avoid getting sick. There are others, however, who don't like using condoms, especially if the customer is good looking. Sometimes, when prostitutes find the customers to their liking, they give their services for free. There are also customers who don't like using condoms but most do because they are scared of being infected...' page 53

On how other people see pimps:

'When Leo's brother got to know he was a pimp, his brother beat him, asking why he was doing it. His brother told him to stop it because it is bad. Leo simply ignored his brother and continued with his work...' page 55

On what kind of help they want:

'For the six young people, all they want is to have a good, decent and simple job, even if they don't earn much - as long as they have a regular source of income. Some of them also want to go back to school so they can continue their studies.... Some of them don't trust government to help them...' page 65

Read a copy of the publication here.

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