MANILA, Philippines—While the Philippines is a model for other countries in combating human trafficking, a lot still remains to be done because up to “40 percent” of foreign male tourists visiting the country come here primarily for sex, according to US Ambassador to Manila Harry Thomas Jr.
Thomas said on Thursday morning that while the Philippines government secured a “record number of 25 convictions” against human traffickers, many problems have persisted in the fight against the criminal syndicates trafficking people.
“I estimate that maybe up to 40 percent of foreign men who come here come for sexual tourism and that is unacceptable,” Thomas said at a judicial conference on human trafficking.
He added that he had also told President Benigno Aquino and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima that should an American be arrested for human trafficking, the US embassy in Manila would even assist in prosecuting them.
“Any of them who are engaged in things that violate the law—whether American or another foreigner—should be prosecuted. That is against human values,” Thomas said.