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Sunday, November 11, 2012

100 human traffickers jailed

By Rey E. Requejo | Posted on Nov. 12, 2012 at 12:01am | 60 views

The government has sent about 100 people to jail since last year for human trafficking violations but new measures were needed to stop recruitment of people to work in sweatshops and prostitution dens, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Sunday.
She said a total of 1,693 cases were still pending in trial courts, including 364 filed last year, and the country needs to put up specialized courts to try only human trafficking cases to effectively address the problem.
“The Philippines is unreservedly committed to combating and eradicating trafficking of persons … The programs we are now undertaking form only the spearhead of the ever-expanding scope of our campaign,” De Lima told Ngozi Ezeilo, a United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons.
Ezeilo was on a fact-finding mission in the country to examine the situation of trafficked persons in the country. In addition to Manila, she also visited Cebu and Zamboanga, which are known as trafficking hot spots.
Human trafficking involve recruitment of people to work as illegals here and abroad. Many of the recruits were young girls, who end up as bar girls and prostitutes.
De Lima said that since last year, the government has implemented strict inspection of travel, employment, and financial documents of outgoing passengers in airports and seaports to prevent human trafficking.
“We are also continuing to expand our cooperation with foreign governments, and our Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) has forged strong partnerships with the Global Alliance for the Protection of Children Online and the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit to protect minors who are victims of exploitation,” she said.
Last October 30, IACAT conducted a joint operation with Netherlands against a group suspected of committing transnational trafficking and other crimes in Amsterdam and Manila, De Lima said.
She said the government has assisted 920 Filipino workers repatriated from Syria and enhanced the Philippine Anti-Trafficking Database through the assistance of Netherlands

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