“We cannot look at the problem of trafficking alone; we need to link it with the basic issues of the people especially of the workers and peasants.”
This was part of the message of DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo during the celebration of the World Day Against Trafficking held on July 29 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), adding that “for as long as poverty is not fully addressed, the number of victims will continue to grow.”
With the theme, “Ituloy mo ang Laban Kontra Human Trafficking,” the celebration also served as a venue to feature the initiatives of the Philippines against human trafficking, which were recognized by the US State Department, indicating that the country is compliant to the minimum standards for the elimination of severe forms of trafficking.
PH anti-human trafficking campaign: Tier 1 global ranking
Due to the anti-human trafficking efforts of the Philippine Government, the country was accorded with a Tier 1 ranking in the recent 16thGlobal Trafficking in Persons (GTIP) report. The Tier 1 ranking is the highest recognition which can be awarded under the United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that human trafficking is among the worst forms of crime against the dignity and rights of an individual.
“The crime of trafficking in persons is a crime against humanity, with criminals using deceit as their platform to lure the poor into becoming victims. In this trade, traffickers are deliberate in their intent to rob less-knowledgeable and less-fortunate Filipinos of their human rights,” she stressed.
She commended the efforts of the Department and said that the upgrading in the global ranking in the fight against human trafficking is a good indicator that efforts are working against this heinous crime.
The Secretary, however, added that it is a must to “reaffirm and strengthen our commitment against trafficking” as the root cause of such social crime is poverty.