MANILA, Philippines – Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy is optimistic that the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will declare support to the work plan in combating trafficking in persons in the region.
Cuy said the DILG, together with other Philippine national agencies, are leading the development of a harmonized and holistic work plan to address the complex issues of trafficking in persons in Southeast Asia.
“Trafficking of men, women and children, regardless of their nationality, is a grave human rights violation. Time is of the essence in saving victims and would-be victims of this formidable transnational crime that could be stopped through a concerted effort of ASEAN States,” he said.
The Philippines is currently holding the chairmanship of the ASEAN coinciding with the Association’s 50th founding anniversary this year. The country is also the Lead Shepherd on the issue of trafficking in persons.
The work plan was conceived through a series of ASEAN consultative workshops in order to effectively implement the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) and ASEAN Plan of Action (APA).
The work plan is targeted to be endorsed to the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Trans-national Crime in October and is anticipated to be recognized and noted by ASEAN heads of states during the ASEAN Summit in November.
“The Philippines also proposed the strengthening of ACTIP through the establishment of a focal point system of national representatives. The objective of such a network would be to strengthen national and regional implementation of the ACTIP and to facilitate sharing of lessons and experiences between ASEAN member states,” he said.
Trafficking in persons, as defined by the United Nations (UN) Trafficking Protocol, includes the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. by Cecille Suerte Felipe.
The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ASEAN Trade Union Council.
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