For about four decades now, prostituted women have climbed ships docked at the ports of Davao. These women are called akyat barko girls, which means ship-climbing girls.
Talikala, an organization in Davao that gives support, advice, training and counseling to women and girls forced into the sex trade, estimates that there are between 300 and 400 akyat barko girls, most of them with only high school or elementary education and ages ranging from 13 to 26.
Last November, a group of journalists went to Barangay Parola, a community near the Sasa Wharf, Davao International Port to interview akyat barko girls. The journalists who participated in a multimedia workshop conducted by VERA Files and supported by the Canadian Embassy tell the stories of the akyat barko girls in sounds and images.