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PIA Press Release
2007/09/13

Visayan Forum conducts anti-trafficking seminar

Zamboanga City (September 13) -- To assess the status of the campaign on anti-trafficking of persons in Zamboanga, a two-day seminar workshop was recently organized by the Visayan Forum Foundation, Incorporated.

As this developed, Mayor Celso Lobregat commended the organizing agency for spearheading the 2-day activity at the Astoria Hotel saying such interventions would help people realize the importance of taking good care of the less privileged and abused citizens.

In a message read by City Administrator Elias Enriquez during the opening program Lobregat also urged law enforcement agencies and concerned institutions to respond positively to the needs and welfare of the oppressed. "We need the help of all sectors to make sure that human trafficking becomes a crime of the past. The rights of our women and children must be protected at all times".

The mayor, who heads the City Inter-Agency Council against trafficking hoped that the seminar-workshop will "put across a message of concern to everyone, a message of hope that will lead to a stronger prevention of human trafficking".

Zamboanga City holds the distinction of being the first city nationwide to have a conviction on human traffickers. It is one of the areas said to be vulnerable to such crimes as it is the entry and exit point to other countries specifically Malaysia, the area where most of the victims are sent to.

The seminar dubbed as "Planning Workshop for Zamboanga Networks and Task Forces Against Trafficking of Persons" was held in partnership with the Regional and City Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (CIACAT).

City Social Welfare Officer Francisco Barredo, who is CIACAT action officer said the 2-day event was aimed at assessing the anti-trafficking situation in Zamboanga, develop concrete plan across the different level on instituting right-based interventions against trafficking of persons and to agree on a functional coordinating mechanism to be used in implementing plans.

The participants to the seminar include law enforcers, representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Bureau of Immigration, Philippine Ports Authority, Air Transportation Office, Prosecutor's Office and other agencies related to the anti-human trafficking. (CIO/PIA Z.C.) [top]

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