JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Thursday called on the international community to come up with firm and collective measures, to address human trafficking.
Speaking during the fourth Manila International Dialogue on Human Trafficking, Guevarra noted that victims of human trafficking can be found in more than a hundred countries based on the 2016 report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Also in the same year, the International Labor Organization reported that about 21 million people around the world have been victims of forced labor and extreme exploitation.
Human traffickers, according to Guevarra, profited from the illegal activity by as much as $150 billion.
“At a time when the network for the trafficking of persons has spanned the globe, approaches that are individualistic and segmented are proving ineffective,” Guevarra said.
The Manila Dialogue, according to Guevarra, serves as a call for international cooperation to prevent those who seek to profit from the trafficking and exploit the present vulnerabilities in the legal and enforcement systems of nations.
Guevarra noted that those involved in human trafficking most often have resources and technology far more advanced and sophisticated than some countries.
“Behind them are countless people from around the world whose prurient and immoral demands and avarice provide stable financing for the trafficking of our citizens,” Guevarra pointed out.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy, for her part, cited that human trafficking is also responsible for turning out “a generation of children growing without any guidance.”
During the dialogue, participants vowed to seek legislation that would prevent the ingress of alien sexual offenders and amending pending legislation in the Senate (Senate Bill 44) to include online child exploitation as among the exceptions under the Anti-Wiretapping Act.
Other participants in the dialogue were Philippine Overseas Employment Administration Director Sherilyn G. Malonzo, Susan Ople of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training, Daphne Culanag of Plan International, the Netherlands Embassy and Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking Secretariat Executive Director Rudiger G. Falcis II.