Technology vital in curbing human trafficking: DOJ chief

Modern technology can be used to curb human trafficking cases in the country, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Thursday.

“(T)here is a realization and consensus among stakeholders that developments in technology that have spawned new ways of committing trafficking can also be harnessed and utilized to respond to trafficking,” Guevarra told participants of the 6th Manila International Dialogue on the International Day against Human Trafficking.

The event seeks to consolidate a comprehensive international approach to prevent and combat human trafficking.

Guevarra said more tech companies are joining the fight, developing tools and technology solutions against human trafficking.

While stressing that the pace of human trafficking investigations, in general, has been dictated by traffickers and syndicates, he added that “the growing network of private sector engagement in this initiative is highly encouraging”.

“Fortunately for us, the shift towards a virtual practice of discourse is also an opportunity to have a glimpse of what the future of counter-trafficking means for our country and for the world in general. As 2020 comes to a close, we are gaining a better understanding of what a global response to trafficking will look like in this decade and beyond,” he said.

Last May, during the height of the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine and with a majority of the courts and prosecution offices remaining closed due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the country saw the virtual promulgation of the conviction of the notorious American pedophile, David Timothy Deakin.

The judgment was handed down by Judge Irineo Pangilinan Jr. of the Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 58 through online proceedings.

Another recent conviction for large scale trafficking for prostitution was promulgated via videoconferencing in Cebu.

In both instances, the accused were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Source: Philippines News agency

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