PHL gets Tier 1 ranking in human trafficking

MANILA-- The government on Thursday welcomed a new United States (US) report on trafficking in persons (TIP), placing the Philippines to its highest ranking for the second consecutive year on fully meeting the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the 2017 TIP report validated the effectiveness of the country's full and aggressive approach to eliminating human trafficking.

It said the Philippines would continue working with domestic and international partners, including the US, to remain fully compliant with anti-TIP standards.

This affirmation further strengthens our resolve to protect our people from trafficking, through institutionalizing preventive measures, protecting vulnerable groups, and bringing the traffickers and their accomplices to justice, the DFA said in a statement.

The report, released annually by the US State Department, placed the Philippines in Tier 1 category which includes countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act's (TVPA) minimum standards.

The government continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period; therefore, the Philippines remained on Tier 1, it said.

The US TIP report stressed the Philippine government demonstrated serious and sustained efforts by convicting and punishing more traffickers, identifying more victims through proactive screening procedures, and expanding its efforts to prevent trafficking of Filipino migrant workers.

Although the government meets the minimum standards, it recommended that the Philippines expand the availability of specialized comprehensive services that address the specific needs of trafficking victims, particularly mental health care and services for male victims.

The US report also urged the country to increase efforts to achieve expedited victim-centered prosecution of trafficking cases, and to investigate and prosecute officials for trafficking and trafficking-related offenses.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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