200 Anti-Trafficking Advocates Vow to Intensify Fight against Human Trafficking in Philippines, South-East Asia

Manila, 28 July 2017 (IOM)* – Two hundred anti-trafficking advocates from different agencies of government, non-government organisations, private businesses, academic institutions, and faith-based groups, some from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) gathered Thursday (27 July) in Manila, to discuss the fight against human trafficking in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Korean officials welcome Myanmar refugees at Incheon airport, 25 July 2017. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017


The event, the National Conference on Trafficking in Persons and the Philippine Commitments to the ACTIP and APA, was organized by the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) with support from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in observance of the 2017 World Day Against Trafficking.

APA is the ASEAN Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons and ACTIP, the ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons.

Observed on 30 July each year, the World Day Against Trafficking is a United Nations sanctioned day meant to raise awareness on the plight of human trafficking survivors and advocate for the promotion and protection of their rights.

The Philippines, having met the minimum standards to address trafficking in persons according to the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, achieved Tier 1 ranking in the 2017 US Trafficking in Persons report for the second year. The conference is a celebration of this key milestone proving the Philippines as a regional leader in combating trafficking, being the first and only Southeast Asian country so far to have attained this ranking.

Atty. Darlene Pajarito, Executive Director of the IACAT, acknowledged the collaborative efforts of advocates to fight trafficking in persons and presented the achievements of the Philippine government in the prevention, protection and prosecution pillars of the response to trafficking in persons.

The conversations at the conference focused on the Philippine commitments enshrined in the APA, on the strength of the ACTIP, which came into force after the Philippines ratified and subsequently submitted its instruments of ratification at the ASEAN Headquarters in Indonesia on 8 March this year. Dr. Apiradee Thienthong shared the key points on the ACTIP and how the advocates in the Philippines could contribute to the APA.

At the end of the conference, the participants identified how their organizations will contribute to achieving the country’s commitments, and how to intensify initiatives to combat trafficking.

Through a commitment signing ceremony, all 200 anti-trafficking advocates re-affirmed their shared responsibility in continuing the fight to end human trafficking in Southeast Asia. IOM Philippines Chief of Mission, Marco Boasso, congratulated the Philippines for its efforts in remaining in Tier 1 status and reaffirmed IOM’s commitment to assist the Philippines in their fight to eliminate trafficking in persons.

*SOURCE: International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Go to Original.



2017 Human Wrongs Watch

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