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PIA Press Release

DOJ spearheads drive vs human trafficking

Manila (7 October) -- The Department of Justice (DOJ) is spearheading the campaign against human trafficking with the strict implementation of Republic Act 9208, otherwise known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

DOJ Usec. Ricardo R. Blancaflor headed the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) in the activity called "We are not for sale (victims of human trafficking speak up)."

Four women victims of human trafficking came out last Friday and recounted their ordeals before Bureau of Immigration (BI), Philippine National Police (PNP) and airport officials at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Pampanga.

"Our aim is to instill awareness and pro-activeness in the fight against trafficking, and ensure the cooperation of these officials who are involved in the procedures of facilitating migrant workers abroad and domestically," Blancaflor said.

The IACAT is mandated by law to coordinate and monitor the implementation of R.A. 9208.

Among others, members of the council are the DOJ, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), BI, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), PNP, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) and National Council on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW).

The IACAT was aided in the activity by the Blas F. Ople Policy Research Center and The Visayan Forum.

"Poverty is the main reason why Filipinos want to go abroad or seek jobs elsewhere. Many Filipinos desire to emigrate to improve their lives; a wish that often leaves them vulnerable to human trafficking," Blancaflor said.

He expressed appreciation to BI Commissioner Marcelino Libanan for the BI's cooperation in IACAT's programs.

This is the second in a series of dialogues the IACAT is conducting involving trafficking victims and BI and airport officials.

The first one was held last September 18 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal I. (PNA) [top]

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