The US State Department recognized once again the gains of the Philippines in the fight against human trafficking as it kept the country’s rating at Tier 2 in the Global Trafficking in Persons (GTIP) Report for the fifth straight year.
The Tier 2 status officially recognizes a country's major efforts to adhere to the benchmarks prescribed by the US State Department in meeting the minimum standards.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima lauded various governments who convened for the "First International Dialogue on Human Trafficking" that led to the signing of the "Manila Declaration to Enhance International Cooperation in Combating Human Trafficking.
Secretary De Lima saluted the more than one hundred conference delegates from 19 different embassies in the Philippines, 11 non-government organizations (NGOs), and 15 government agencies “for refusing to look away and instead identifying more decisive steps to combat this global menace.”
A stronger cooperation between the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands will further enhance the capacity of the Philippines’ lead anti-trafficking body to fulfill its mandate.
The Dutch government, represented by the Prosecutor’s Office of the Netherlands and the IACAT will formalize an agreement, by way of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will establish a more thorough partnership in battling cross-border human trafficking. This effort will effectively enhance the cooperation, coordination and communication in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking in persons cases.
The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) have blazed a new trail by joining forces to intensify the government’s public awareness campaign in fighting human trafficking in the country, through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that seeks to institutionalize the awareness, education and prevention campaigns of the government.
People of the Philippines vs. Shirley Casio G.R. No. 211465, under the ponencia of Justice Marvic M.V. Leonen. This is a human trafficking case decided on its merits, the most recent in Philippine jurisprudence since 2011. The first case decided by the Supreme Court on trafficking in persons was People of the Philippines vs. Lalli et al.
The Philippines garnered top spot in the 2014 edition of the Global Slavery Index, ranking it among countries “making comparatively strong efforts with limited resources” in the campaign against human trafficking.
The second edition of the index ranked the country number one in Asia, number three in Asia-Pacific and number 29 globally, out of 167 countries, in terms of government’s efforts and programs, especially on the response of the criminal justice system against human trafficking.