DFA rescue of 12 Filipinos from human traffickers in Iraq lauded by gov’t council
MANILA — A government interagency council has cited the efforts of the Department of Foreign Affairs in rescuing 12 Filipino women who were victims of illegal recruitment and human trafficking in Kurdistan.
In a statement, the Interagency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) praised the Philippine embassy in Baghdad and Charge d’affaires Elmer Cato as well as the Kurdistan regional government for their assistance to the 12 Filipinos.
The victims were initially recruited as spa attendants but were forced to carry out sexual acts with clients by their employer who held their travel documents, according to the statement.
The victims have since been assisted and repatriated with the help of the embassy and the International Organization for Migration.
“CDA Cato faced the matter head on, found like-minded organizations to align with, and got the job done without expecting anything in return,” IACAT executive director Darlene Pajarito said.
Pajarito also said the embassy has now aligned with the IOM to help the government of Iraq in fighting trafficking. SFM