FOLLOWING the exacerbation of online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) cases in the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Win Gatchalian is pushing anew for the institutionalization of a comprehensive “Human Trafficking Preventive Education Program” to protect the Filipino children and youth from the different forms of trafficking. Follow. These penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Here are 20 ideas to consider acting on in the year 2020. The PNP led the investigation of most OSEC cases and operated regional WCPC cyber protection units focused specifically on OSEC crimes. For the fifth year, the Philippines retains its Tier 1 ranking in the US government's report on human trafficking. Of the 560 convictions since 2005, 96 percent are related to sex trafficking, while four percent are linked to labor trafficking. Click on the links below. Even under normal circumstances, identifying victims of human trafficking is a difficult task. DSWD reported serving 2,194 trafficking victims, of whom 1,711 were female and 80 percent were adults, compared with 2,318 victims served in 2018. The government continued to partner with NGOs for specialized residential care and reintegration services for child victims of online sexual exploitation as well as training for local social workers who provide reintegration and trauma-focused counseling. Posted at May 29 2020 06:17 PM. The CFO operated a hotline and the DFA Office of Migrant Workers Affairs maintained a HELP Facebook page for OFWs in distress and their families to request assistance. Staff permitted adult victims residing in shelters to leave unchaperoned, provided there were no threats to their personal security or psychological care issues. To find out more, please click this link. She noted that several convictions for that year were made through plea bargaining, where an accused person will plead guilty to a lesser offense with the consent of the prosecutor. 1 ... Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on survivors of human trafficking in the Philippines. That’s really a high number of convictions for trafficking in person cases,” said Villar. Human trafficking and child sexual abuse is still alive and thriving in the Philippines. An estimated 10 million Filipinos work outside the Philippines in nearly 170 countries, approximately three percent of whom work without a contract. Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Teresita Ang-See of… The problem of human trafficking in Philippines and its global impacts. The Department of Interior and Local Government reported that 57 provinces, 127 cities, and 1,237 municipalities with anti-trafficking/violence against women committees enacted over 500 anti-trafficking ordinances and more than 700 reported conducting anti-trafficking education and information campaigns. The points raised in the report on government efforts to eliminate trafficking include: The DOLE closed three establishments where investigations led to the identification of child sex trafficking victims. According to the 2020 Trafficking in Persons report, the Philippine government fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking as it continues to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period. While urgency has always marked the fight against human trafficking, the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic have magnified the need for all stakeholders to work together in the fight more than ever. Tier Placement. Fighting for justice is a particularly important healing therapy for the children to get justice and to testify in court on what the abusers did to them. The BI-TCEU continued to screen departing passengers and deferred the departure of 31,211 passengers (24,753 in 2018) due to incomplete or suspicious travel documents or misrepresentation. As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in the Philippines, and traffickers exploit victims from the Philippines abroad. Three leaders of a megachurch based in the Philippines were arrested on Wednesday in California and Virginia on charges that they ran a human trafficking ring, … Villar revealed that the IACAT, which was created under Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking of Persons Act of 2003, has monitored 593 trafficking convictions. The numbers may be even higher, however, because of the difficulty in accurately tracking numbers in all the country's regions. Traffickers exploit Filipinos already working overseas through fraudulent employment offers to work in another country. • Increase efforts to identify and assist child labor trafficking victims. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. DFA allocated one billion pesos ($19.75 million) for the Assistance to Nationals Fund (ATN), which covered assistance such as airfare, meal allowance, shelter, medical care, and other needs of OFWs. The government increased its law enforcement efforts. POEA reviewed 21 bilateral and multilateral labor agreements with other countries and signed three new bilateral agreements, including an MOU with Bahrain, aimed at protecting OFWs’ rights and reducing their vulnerability to trafficking. The appellate courts affirmed 14 of 15 prior-year convictions. The government processes approximately 2.3 million new or renewed contracts for Filipinos to work overseas each year. 20 Actions in 2020. But because the pandemic has forced schools to cease operations, Alma was … Shame on all who allow it to happen with impunity. Reports of immigration, police, and other officials complicit in trafficking continued. Services also included: case management; temporary shelter (599 survivors); livelihood assistance (308 survivors); education/skills training (200 survivors); hygiene kits (602 survivors); referral (134 survivors); victim/witness assistance (104 survivors); airport assistance (57 survivors); transportation assistance (21); home visit (56 survivors); medical assistance (45 survivors); and financial assistance (78 survivors). Whenever we state that in international conventions, everyone is shocked. Of the 1,256 victims, 1,175 or 93 percent are female, 81 or seven percent are male, and 715 or 57 percent are minors. The IACAT Sea/Air Task Forces identified 2,500 potential trafficking victims through operations or deferred departures (820 in 2018). Philippines. Philippine law enforcement reported identifying 1,443 victims of trafficking, the vast majority of whom were sex trafficking victims, compared with 2,953 victims in 2018. These actions led to the identification of 546 suspects and arrests of 507 (compared with 689 arrests in 2018); 39 suspects remained at large. Non-state armed groups operating in the Philippines, including the New People’s Army, Maute Group, the Moro National Liberation Front, the Abu Sayyaf Group, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, recruit and use children, at times through force, for combat and noncombat roles. Of these, the government reported 976 victims of labor trafficking; 669 victims of sex trafficking, including 259 child victims of online sexual exploitation; 181 victims of illegal recruitment; and 311 individuals intercepted before their departure overseas. Our Partners 22 December, 2020. Coordinator for the Arctic Region, Bureaus and Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary, Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues, Office of the U.S. regarding COVID-related impacts occurred in March and April 2020, followed by systematic outreach that continues through the present. Some personnel working at Philippine embassies reportedly withhold back wages procured for their domestic workers, subject them to domestic servitude, or coerce sexual acts in exchange for government protection services. The DFA reported only partial expenditures from the ATN totaling $4.86 million for the reporting period; these funds primarily supported services for Filipino trafficking victims in the UAE. “As of October, 2020, out of the 593 convictions on trafficking monitored by the IACAT, 179 convictions or 30% have all been handed down thru plea bargain agreements,” she said. The government’s interagency child labor quick action teams removed 36 children from hazardous and exploitative work situations in 2019, but the government did not identify any child victims of internal labor trafficking. Within the region, Thailand is the main destination for trafficking victims from Cambodia, Lao and Myanmar, whereas Malaysia has been a destination for victims from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. 21 Dec 2020 Originally published 21 Dec 2020. The DFA reported assisting all of the 6,772 potential trafficking victims identified by overseas missions (2,591 in the previous reporting period). Alma is one of Honor 1000's Microfinance clients in the Philippines. Identified hotspots for this form of sex trafficking in Luzon and Visayas include Iligan, Lapu-Lapu, Pampanga, Quezon City, Malabon, Pasig, Taguig, and Caloocan. Human Trafficking Task Force to fight human trafficking in partnership with law enforcement and the community. 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