PH envoy to UN stresses importance of partnerships in combating human trafficking

August 6, 2023 Cristina Lee-Pisco 229 views

PHILIPPINE Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Antonio Lagdameo stressed the importance of partnering with victims/survivors and their organizations to be able to make policies toward strengthening the implementation of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

“We acknowledge the need to incorporate the perspectives and experiences of survivors in all efforts to prevent and combat trafficking in persons and aim to actively involve victims of trafficking in persons in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating our anti-trafficking efforts,” Lagdameo said in his speech during the celebration of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

The Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York, in collaboration with the Missions of Belarus and the Dominican Republic, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women organized the event “Reach Every Victim, Leave No One Behind” to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Eduardo A. de Vega, as panelist, expressed the Philippines’ unwavering commitment to combat trafficking in persons through a comprehensive whole-of-society approach.

He shared that despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the Philippines continued its anti-trafficking efforts, conducting various programs to address the issue.

These programs include webinars at the village level to raise awareness about human trafficking and how to report such cases; learning sessions on anti-trafficking initiatives in public procurement policy and supply chain management; programs to protect fisherfolk from COVID-19 and trafficking in the fishing industry; community education programs for prospective migrants; and awareness-raising activities to combat online sexual exploitation of children.

The Executive Director of UNODC, Ghada Waly, delivered a statement, stressing the need to step up the efforts to reach every trafficking victim, by strengthening detection, investigating cases, prosecuting the criminals involved and proactively identifying, assisting, and supporting survivors of trafficking.

The event also featured powerful statements from survivors, namely Ms. Melanie Thompson, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator at the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women; and Ms. Marti McGibbon, president of Mentari.

The commemoration this year marks 20 years since the Palermo Protocol entered into force and 10 years since the General Assembly resolution proclaimed July 30 as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.