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Victims of human trafficking in PH spike to over 700,000 – Global Slavery Index

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

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MANILA, Philippines – The 2018 Global Slavery Index report shows a significant rise in the number of victims of human trafficking in the Philippines.

Most notable was the incident of 13 minors, including a two-month-old baby, who were trafficked by their own relatives and were rescued in March last year by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) with the help of personnel from the U.S. Homeland Security Investigators and Immigration and the Customs Enforcement team.

Specifically, the minors were used to promote child pornography.

“Masakit, kasi ang mga perpetrators ay mga magulang at mga relatives. So, sino pa ang pagkakatiwalaan ng mga kabataan natin ngayon kung even ang magulang nila ay kinakalakal sila?” said Atty Janet Francisco, chief of the NBI Anti-Human Trafficking Division.

Their case is just one of the more than 700,000 victims of human trafficking based on the report.

This puts the Philippines in the 12th rank among countries with the highest incidence of modern-day slavery in the entire Asia Pacific.

The report notes that among the 44 million people trafficked across the globe, 73% were victims of forced sexual exploitation; 68% were victims of forced labor; 64% were victims of labor exploitation; while 42% were led to forced marriages.

“It is no wonder that slavery has broken the very fabric of nations…It has destroyed families and communities and brought war to the mightiest of economies. The inherent injustice in building fortunes from the misfortune of some, presents one of the strongest compulsions for the abolition of slavery,” explained Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) takes pride in the rescue of a 9-year-old girl and the arrest of her French pedophile perpetrator who spread lewd photographs online.

“This information was transmitted to the Philippines and Australia and was subsequently corroborated with the Philippine women and children protection center,” narrated Secretary Guevarra.

Four months after the trial and 9 months after rescue of the child, a conviction for qualified trafficking was handed down by our courts” he added referring to the success of the case.

Guevarra, meanwhile, calls on the international community to unite to protect the poor who are the most susceptible to human trafficking. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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200 human trafficking victims rescued in Pasay raid

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, October 1st, 2018

Over 200 victims of alleged human trafficking were rescued by authorities last Friday, September 28, after being held for four months at a private residence in Pasay City.

Eight officials of the recruitment agency, East Trans Global Manpower Consultants Incorporated, were arrested by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group- Anti-Transnational Crime Unit (CIDG-ATCU) in connection with the alleged crime.

According to the victims, the recruitment agency promised them employment in Saudi Arabia and made them live in the house as “stay-ins” while waiting for deployment.

They added that they were not easily allowed to leave the house.

One of the hopeful applicants known as Tess said, “Tuloy pa rin ang pag-process nila ng papers kasi hindi naman daw suspended ang agency nila. Hiningan kami ng P34,000.”

On the contrary, CIDG-ATCU Chief PSupt. Roque Merdegia Jr., said that the license of the East Trans Global Manpower Consultants Inc., has indeed been suspended based on the documents of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.

“Recruitment agency talaga na nagpa process, may mga staff, may mga employees, despite the fact na suspended. Dapat nga sarado sila eh, dapat di na sila nag ooperate. Eh hindi eh, welcome pa rin ang mga aplikante, so walang silbi ang suspension,” said Merdegia.

The recruitment agency continued to operate and charged unsuspecting victims P45,000 processing fee in exchange for a supposed job as a domestic helper in Saudi Arabia with a salary of P23,000.

The CIDG-ATCU is looking into the falsification of records by the suspects as based on the documents gathered by authorities, there are minors among the applicants.

“Ang iimbestigahan pa namin dito siguro may perjury na ginagawa sila para lumabas na of age na ang mga ito on record para lumabas na nasa hustong gulang na sila sa dokumento, sa passport at kontrata,” said Merdegia.

The CIDG-ATCU Chief also noted that all the applicant’s passports were issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs Cotabato.

Authorities remind applicants to go through accredited recruitment agencies if they plan to work abroad to avoid falling prey to illegal recruiters.

The Eight officials of the East Trans Global Manpower Consultants Incorporated are facing charges of syndicated illegal recruitment, estafa and trafficking in person. — Lea Ylagan

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ASEAN ministers discuss measures to address transnational crimes

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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MANILA, Philippines — Transnational crimes are criminal acts that expand from one country to another.

One of the highlights in Tuesday’s meeting is the second special ASEAN ministerial meeting on the rise of radicalization and violent extremism.

Violent extremism is an ideology with an aim to harm people for political, religious, or economic gain. An example of a group with a violent extremist ideology is the Maute terror group in Marawi City.

“We are fully aware that some cross boarder issues induce threats to our constituents. The looming rise of radicalization prompts an immediate need to collaborate with our neighboring nations to counter act this threat,” said DILG OIC Usec. Catalino Cuy.

ASEAN ministers shared their countries’ experiences, views, and approach to address the issue on violent extremism.

The Philippines has been active in advancing ways on how to fight transnational crime.

Transnational crimes include terrorism, illegal drugs, human trafficking, arms smuggling, money laundering, and cyber crime, among others.

Aside from ASEAN member countries, officials from China, Japan and South Korea also pparticipated in the ministers’ meeting. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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World’s first Global Coast Guard Summit kicks off in Japan

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Global Coast Guard Summit

Global Coast Guard Summit

Thirty-five nations, including the U.S., China, and three international organisations attended the world’s first Global Coast Guard Summit in Tokyo on Thursday, aiming to strengthen maritime security.

The summit is in response to rising piracy and human trafficking, and is expected to adopt a joint statement calling for the strengthening of the rule of law in the open seas.

China and Japan have often accused each other of attempting to change the rule of law, especially over their territorial dispute in the East China Sea.

While the expansion of China’s presence in the South China Sea has also raised tensions with other Southeast Asian Nations.

“I hope everyone takes this Global Coast Summit as the best opportunity to promote new dialogue and cooperation,” Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism Minister of Land Keichi Ishii said. — Reuters

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