Anti-human trafficking champions take center stage

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) jQUEZON CITYoins the other member-agencies of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) in recognizing the efforts of all anti-human trafficking champions in a thanksgiving event tomorrow, August 26, at the New World Manila Bay Hotel.

The gathering also serves as an opportunity to formally share the good news that the Philippines' fight against human trafficking has finally achieved "Tier 1" ranking as reflected in the United States 2016 Global Trafficking in Persons (GTIP) Report.

Under the United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000, Tier 1 ranking means the government has fully complied with the minimum standards for the elimination of severe forms of trafficking.

As Co-Chair of the IACAT, DSWD will also spearhead the presentation of awards recognizing the efforts of partners from the civil society organizations (CSOs) and other public and private agencies.

DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said, "Achieving Tier 1 is a breakthrough in our campaign to save poor and vulnerable Filipinos from becoming victims of human trafficking. However, this does not mean that the fight is over. Human trafficking is still proliferating worldwide, with the Philippines known as a source of trafficked persons."

She, however, stressed, "The efforts of IACAT and the advocates are truly commendable, as five years of their hard work led to the Tier 1 ranking. This shows the total commitment of each member-agency to implement Republic Act No. 9208 or the Anti Human Trafficking Act of 2008."

The Secretary also vowed that DSWD will continue strengthening its programs and services for trafficked victims, like the Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP), which provides a comprehensive package of services ranging from reporting to rehabilitation.

For the second Quarter of 2016, RRPTP has served 362 clients, providing them with services ranging from temporary shelter, livelihood assistance, skills training, psycho-social counselling, transportation assistance, financial assistance, medical assistance, educational assistance and referral to other agencies. For this quarter, Field Office IX served the highest number of clients with 95 TIP victim-survivors, followed by FO NCR with 87 and FO III with 57 clients.

In the past, DSWD has also embarked on a massive advocacy campaign on anti-human trafficking which included the launching of television plugs and radio plugs with Tagalog, English and Visayan versions.

The Department also produced various print materials like stickers distributed to public utility vehicles, and poster boards placed in different sea and airports to inform the public about human trafficking.

Sec. Taguiwalo added, "We will continue the fight against this heinous crime on humanity which targets the poor and the vulnerable. We must protect our fellow Filipinos from becoming victims of slavery, bonded labor, sex trade, and organ sale. It is part of our mandate as DSWD and as co-Chair of IACAT to provide compassionate service to the Filipinos."

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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