NCRFW joins fight vs human trafficking in RP

21 May 2009, MANILA – The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), the government’s machinery for women’s advancement, joins the Visayan Forum, MTV-EXIT Philippines and its partners in the fight against human trafficking in the Philippines.

Millions of women worldwide are victimized by illegal trafficking and Filipino women and children are part of the burgeoning crisis. There were 427 cases of trafficking recorded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development from 2000 to 2009 but due to the clandestine nature of the acts, the extent of human trafficking in the country could be worse.

“The Philippines is a major source of migrant workers in the world. With the worsening global financial crisis, women are forced into migration and are vulnerable to become victims of human trafficking. The government, the private sector, non-government organizations and civil society should unite to stop this cycle of abuse among our women,” NCRFW Chair Myrna T. Yao said.

According to the Commission on Filipino Overseas, most irregular migrants are found in visa-free countries like South East Asia. Trafficking victims are also mostly found in these areas.

“Most women victims of human trafficking are sexually exploited. They are forced into prostitution and sex tourism. Victims of human trafficking should be saved and given assistance while violators should face the harshest punishment of the law,” Chair Yao added.

According to the Visayan Forum, inside the country, traffickers secretly organize their transport operations via different ports and land routes in the Philippines. Internal trafficking is the springboard for international trafficking.

To raise the awareness on human trafficking, especially among the youth, the NCRFW supports the “War Against Human Trafficking in the Philippines” organized by MTV-EXIT Philippines on May 22, 2009. A Freedom March Against Human Trafficking will start at 3:45 pm in front of San Juan De Dios College leading to SM Mall of Asia Concert Ground. After the Freedom March, an MTV-EXIT Concert hosted by MTV VJ Kat Alano and Epi Quizon will be held from 6:00 pm onwards at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Ground. Concert performers include Gary Valenciano, Bamboo, Callalily, Duster, Itchyworms, Kamikazee, Kjwan, Parokya ni Edgar, Pochoy Labog, Pupil, Ricol Blanco, Sponge Cola and more.

“There is a lot to be done to stop human trafficking and we should put our acts together to raise awareness on this problem, and help women not to fall into the human trafficking trap,” Chair Yao noted.