Victims of human trafficking are being treated by use of force, or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of position, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the person, or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person.
In the Philippines, the Cordillera Regional Inter Agency Committee on Anti- Trafficking on Persons and Violence Against Women and Children (CRIACAT- VAWC) together with concerned agencies held a meeting at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on March 11, 2008 to strengthen the measures necessary to prevent the exacerbation of human trafficking in the city.
Members of the Inter-agency Council Against Human Trafficking participated in the meeting to improve their means on anti-human trafficking. They also tackled major issues concerning human trafficking cases that have not moved on in local courts, and the failed arrests of offenders.
Cecilia Abralique, Chairwoman of DSWD pointed out the importance of data gathering and maintaining of the data and intervention. According to the gathered data, the flow of referral for victims of human trafficking is mostly women and children. To properly disseminate relevant information regarding human trafficking, the Save Our Street Children Foundation, Inc. (SOSCFI) cited that last January 27th, they presented a lecture on human trafficking for 300 criminology students of La Union, Pangasinan, Baguio City and La Trinidad. They also presented another forum at the Government Mall in Tuguegarao on March 16th where about a hundred students of the criminal justice system and their teachers attended.
The lectures were delivered by Mr. Hoover Agyao, Executive Director of SOSCFI, and the Chairman of the Advocacy Committee of the Regional Anti Human Trafficking Council. Also, during the February 2008 campaign against Child Sexual Abuse, Mr. Agyao was invited by WOMENLead, an organization for women’s empowerment to speak about the roles of local officials, teachers, and parents in the prevention of child sexual abuse. About 60 local officials and women leaders participated.
To better respond to cases on trafficking, Mrs. Perlita Panganiban, representative of DSWD, emphasized the need to increase comprehensive training in line with the laws on trafficking, investigation and interventions, as well as to increase awareness [of human trafficking] through information and education materials and tri-media. She further emphasized on-going public education, advocacy and social mobilization are all necessary.