Philippines implementing strategy to combat human trafficking: official

10:18, July 22, 2011      

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The Philippine government is implementing a multi-pronged strategy to combat human trafficking, senior government official said on Wednesday.

During the fifth and last 'Pilipinas Natin' Cabinet Cluster Forum on Security Justice and Peace aired over NBN4 and dzRB Radyo ng Bayan on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos underscored the need for a multi-pronged anti-human trafficking strategy with elements of prevention, protection and prosecution.

Conejos said, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons (IACAT) formulated programs to ensure that human trafficking across the country is put to a stop.

"On the prevention side the first program is awareness. We have informed the public the dangers of human trafficking. We intend to bring the awareness campaign from national down to regional all the way to the barangay level. The involvement of the local government units is critical to the success of the program," Conejos said.

He said the second program is the establishment of the one-stop processing centers in airports and major seaports.

"We have what we call the one-stop processing centers. We have multi-agency task force to man the one-stop processing centers to look into the documents of the people, this is to ensure that they are not victims of human trafficking. We will not allow any suspicious character or any applicant to get out of the country unless we are sure that they are not victims," he stressed.

Third, Conejos said, is the effective prosecution to deter human trafficking. The Department of Justice (DoJ) under the helm of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is working doubly hard in building-up cases against human traffickers to ensure their conviction.

"The final point here is the campaign against illegal recruitment. The flipside to that is illegal recruitment because human trafficking is mostly for prostitution; illegal trafficking for forced labor. We have an intensified campaign for illegal recruitment headed by Vice President Jejomar C. Binay," he added.

The human trafficking syndicates have tampered passports to smuggle victims out of the country in the past years.

With the issuance of the E-passport, Conejos said it would be difficult to tamper with it due to its added security features.

"Pilipinas Natin" is a campaign by the Aquino administration calling for unity, solidarity and active involvement of every Filipino in nation-building.

Source:Xinhua
 
 
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