PH, US sign agreement vs child trafficking, abuse
The Philippines and the US government on Tuesday signed an agreement to enhance the campaign against child trafficking and abuse in the country.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, chair of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, and Chargé d’Affaires Michael Klecheski of the US Embassy in Manila signed the Child Protection Compact (CPC) which aims to stop online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) and child labor trafficking (CLT).
In the deal, US$3.5 million or around P175-million funding will be provided by the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) to non-governmental or international organizations that would combat OSEC and CLT.
From the said fund, $3 million will be allocated to support capacity-building related to improving Philippines’ response to OSEC while the remaining $500,000 will be used to support activities related to Philippines’ response to CLT
The IACAT, on the other hand, will provide P40 million to fund its projects related to the program.
Through the CPC, the two governments aim to increase the number of victims-centered investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of OSEC and CLT cases, strengthen government’s and civil society’s capacities to identify and provide comprehensive services for victims, and also strengthen existing community-based mechanisms for identifying and protecting child victims of OSEC and CLT.
“The evil of human trafficking should be fought on all fronts. We should channel our collective efforts towards eradicating it. Anything that debases or dehumanizes the dignity of a person is an abomination that must end. Slavery and exploitation has no place in any society. Any act that which enslaves or exploits our children magnifies the evil a hundredfold,” Aguirre stressed during the signing of the deal.
“Let us not leave no stone unturned in our avowed purpose to protect our children. Let us send a message, a strong one at that. Hurt our children, and we will come after you. And you will not like it,” he warned.
“Let us invest in our children. They are our hope. They are our future… Anything that debases or inhumanizes the dignity of a person is an abomination that must end,” said Michael S. Klacheski, US Chargé d’ Affaires said.
Both enhanced strategies against OSEC and CLT will be piloted in two regions, namely: the National Capital Region (NCR) and Central Visayas (Region 7).
Other Philippine government agencies involved in the said contract are the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Immigration (BI), Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). JE
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.