PH off anti-trafficking watchlist, Palace hopes


MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang expects the Philippines to be stricken off the United States list of countries plagued by human trafficking following the signing of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2013 by President Aquino on Wednesday.

Republic Act No. 10364 provides for the strengthened prosecution of those who engage or attempt to engage in human trafficking, as well as grants protection to trafficked victims.

In signing the measure into law, Aquino sought to abolish the practice of modern slavery through forced labor and the sexual exploitation of persons.

“Nobody should be subjected to involuntary servitude,” said presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda in a phone interview.

Lacierda said the country was no longer on the global trafficking watch list.

“The status of the Philippines based on the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2012 is that we were upgraded to Tier 2 category in 2011, from the Tier 2 watch list, and we retained it in 2012,” said Lacierda.

“In addition, we are exerting efforts to move toward Tier 1,” he said.

Per the US state department, Tier 1 consists of those “countries whose governments fully comply with the TVPA’s (Trafficking Persons Protection Act) minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.”

Tier 2 countries are those “whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.”

Countries whose governments “do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards” are on the Tier 2 Watch List.

Countries in Tier 3 have the most problems as these “do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.”

Stronger measure

Sen. Loren Legarda, principal sponsor of the measure in the Senate, expects the new law to strengthen the fight against human trafficking in the country.

“It will strengthen our fight against the abuse of women and children who are mercilessly sold [into virtual slavery]. I will monitor the implementation of my law,” she said.

Legarda said the law identifies “other gaps” in the old law, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (RA 9208), by improving law enforcement and prosecution, and providing programs and services for trafficked persons and those who are vulnerable to trafficking.

The new law covers attempted trafficking and has accessory liability as it covers more related acts and individuals.

Under RA No. 10364, recruitment in the guise of domestic or overseas employment for sexual exploitation, forced labor or involuntary debt bondage is considered human trafficking.

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  • SelenaDalpimples

    nice! im sure this law will help alot of people who are being abused or taken advantage of..

  • CarlRoy

    thank you loren for taking your time into really making laws that help the philippino people

    • Dyuwela

      you can count on loren to always think about the people! good job senator legarda

  • InaRaymundo

    this is amazing news for the innocents who are abused. its good we are no longer on the global trafficking watch list

  • ClaudineBaretto

    thank you senator loren for your hard work and continued service to our countrymen! :)

  • Raul

    There are many causes of human trafficking in China. The lack of employment opportunities in rural areas coupled with the growth of the manufacturing and construction industries in cities has resulted in the large-scale rural-to-urban internal migration.16  This mass movement has created opportunities for traffickers. Information from the Ministry of Public Security states that due to increasing demand, cases of people being trafficked to work in the entertainment industry has risen to 50-60% of the total reported trafficking cases, and 16-20 year-old girls are the main targets for such exploitation.17 Finally, as highlighted earlier, the shortage of marriageable women has fueled the demand for the trafficking of women for forced marriages.18 

  • Raul

    While the majority of trafficking occurs within China’s borders, around 600,000 workers migrate annually overseas, many of whom are recruited by false promises of employment and later coerced into prostitution or forced labor in numerous countries and territories worldwide.1 However, this number does not include those who leave without documents and it is estimated that as many as 90% of the migrant workers are migrating through unregulated channels.2 Well-organized international criminal syndicates and local gangs play key roles in both internal and cross-border trafficking. High recruitment fees, sometimes amounting to as much as $70,000, compound Chinese migrants’ vulnerability to debt bondage and other situations of trafficking.3
    The majority of migrant workers are low- and medium-skilled men; however, the number of female domestic and international migrants, ages 17-25, is rising. China’s Ministry of Public Security reported in January 2011 that the number of Chinese women forced into prostitution overseas is rising as many women fall prey to international criminal gangs.4  
    Children are also at risk as the kidnapping and buying and selling children for adoption increased over the past several years, particularly in poor rural areas. While there are no reliable estimates of the number of children kidnapped, according to media reports, as many as 20,000 children are kidnapped every year for illegal adoption. Most children kidnapped internally were sold to couples unable to have children. In the past most children rescued were boys, but increased demand for children has reportedly driven traffickers to focus on girls as well.

  • disqusted0fu

    Not so fast… The anti trafficking act is as good as nothing if it isn’t going to be implemented and enforced well. As we know, laws under the Aquino administration are created for either acknowledgment or persecution.

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