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Copyright (c) 1995 University of California, Hastings College of Law
Hastings Law Journal

NOTE: U.S. Recognition of Its Obligation to Filipino Amerasian Children Under International Law

July, 1995

46 Hastings L.J. 1621


by Maria B. Montes *


The obscenities in this country are not girls like Ermi. It is the poverty which makes them obscene, and the criminal irresponsibility of the leaders who made this poverty a deadening reality... There is so much dishonesty... Sex is the only honest thing left. 1
From World War II until 1992, the United States maintained troops at Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base in the Philippines. The cities adjacent to the bases developed subeconomies in prostitution supported primarily by United States servicemen. 2 The relationships between Filipina prostitutes and U.S. servicemen produced thousands of Amerasian children. 3 The majority of these children have been abandoned by their fathers. The children and their mothers most often live in poverty. 4 This Note will explore the rights of these Filipino Amerasian children under both United States and international law. Focusing primarily on the United States government's obligation to the children under international law, this Note will discuss alternatives for redress of the children's grievances in both Congress and federal court.

Part I provides a brief review of the role of the United States in Filipino history including background information on the U.S. bases and adjacent cities. Part II discusses the legal strategies which have been pursued on behalf of the Filipino Amerasian children to date. These include Acebedo v. United States, 5 a class action lawsuit filed in the Federal Court of Claims, as well as proposed legislation in the United States Congress. 6 Part III explores ...
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