The Purple Rose Campaign
The Continuing Struggle Against Trafficking of Women

In the last five years, the crisis in the Philippines had turned from bad to worse, heightening the exploitation and violence against women. This is the backdrop of The Purple Rose Campaign.

The Purple Rose Campaign is a global campaign to expose and fight sex trafficking of Filipino women and children. It aims to bring together a broad number of people against global sex trade. At the forefront of the Purple Rose Campaign is GABRIELA, a National Alliance of Women's Organizations in the Philippines.

GABRIELA was born at a time when the crippling crisis had pushed Filipino women to clamor for substantial change. Since its inception in 1984, GABRIELA remains steadfast and committed in advancing the rights and welfare of Filipino women.

Sex trafficking in the form of mail-order-brides was among the first issues that confronted GABRIELA.

In 1985, the women's organization exposed the scheme of PHILNOR, a marriage bureau based in Norway. PHILNOR was the biggest of the three clubs engaged in the trade of Asian women, supplies eligible Norwegians with "small, beautiful, faithful, kind and mild" Filipino women. A series of protest actions against Norwegian sex tour were conducted in 1985. Information and education campaigns were also conducted to raise the public's awareness on sex trafficking and mail-order-brides. The women's group was also able to coordinate with the Filipino Association in Mid-Norway which conducted a demonstration against PHILNOR in Norway. As a result, GABRIELA was able to push for the banning of advertisement of marriage bureaus.

In 1987, Lisa Mamac gave face to the issue of sex trafficking of Filipino women.

Promised a job as a receptionist, Lisa ended up working in different sex clubs in Netherlands. Lisa only escaped after three years when Holland police raided the brothel. In 1985, Lisa made a statement against her Dutch recruiter Jan Schoeman though the latter managed to escape to the Philippines. In 1987, Lisa came home and filed a case against her Filipino recruiter, Nestor Placer, a city fiscal.

The women of GABRIELA stood with Lisa Mamac as she went through a very trying time in her flight for justice. Lisa's struggle brought forth the grim reality and gravity of sex trafficking of Filipino women.

Public campaign were launched to pressure both the Philippine and Dutch court for a swift justice for Lisa Mamac. Coordination were also done with concerned women of Holland through the initiative of Lin Lap and the Foundation Against Trafficking in Women. In the end, Jan Schoeman was charged with white slavery in the Philippine court, deported to Holland and was condemned to serve time in prison.

GABRIELA also undertook the fight for justice for Maricris Sioson, a Filipina entertainer in Japan who died under mysterious circumstances. This led to the banning of the recruitment of underage Filipinas to work as entertainers in Japan.

Last year, in coordination with GABRIELA Network Los Angeles and Equality Now, GABRIELA exposed the arrival of a sex tour operated by Allan Gaynor, an ex-U.S. serviceman formerly stationed in the Philippines.

As the crisis that besets the nation remains unabated, the crisis that intensifies the exploitation and violence of women and children, GABRIELA will remain determined to fight the exploitation and violence of women and children.

The Purple Rose Campaign, with the support of concerned individuals, is part of the continuing commitment of GABRIELA in the fight to end sex trafficking of women and children.

Together let us make a stand NOW!






Stop sex trafficking of Filipino women and children! A primer on sex trafficking

The Purple Rose Campaign

Gabriela launches Committee of 100 against sex trafficking

The Purple
Rose Campaign:
The Continuing Struggle Against Trafficking of Women

International Conference on Sex-trafficking of Filipino Women and Children