The recent report from the US Department of State placing the Philippines in Tier 1 of its Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for the seventh straight year spoke well of the country’s observance of rights despite the many critical views on the former administration.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Philippines reaffirmed its commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, and its Tier 1 ranking recognizes its unwavering and comprehensive efforts to prevent human trafficking, protect victims and prosecute perpetrators of the modern brand of slavery.
The 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report recognizes the DFA’s and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking’s whole-of-government approach to proactively prevent human trafficking.
The DFA said the government will continue to collaborate with civil society and the international community to strengthen and improve policies, legislation and mechanisms to reduce and eliminate human trafficking.
The Philippines continues to meet the standards in eliminating trafficking in persons as it kept its “top tier” status in the latest US State Department report.
According to the July 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report, the Philippines has maintained for seven consecutive years its Tier 1 ranking, the highest in the State Department’s four-tier placements.
Minimum trafficking standards
“The Government of the Philippines fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking,” the report read.
“The government continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period, considering the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore, the Philippines remained on Tier 1.”
Manila, the report said, identified more victims during the reporting period than in 2020, sentenced “nearly all traffickers” to significant prison terms, and finally, created the Department of Migrant Workers.
The report covers government efforts undertaken from 1 April, 2021 through 31 March 2022. During this period, the Philippine government identified a total of 1,802 trafficking victims, higher than the 1,534 recorded in 2020.
The State Department said the Philippines “reported providing all identified victims with direct services or referrals to various protection services, including shelter provisions of basic needs, medical care, education assistance, psychosocial counseling, and livelihood assistance.”
In addition, it cited the support extended to more victims as well as the government’s increased funding to the interagency anti-trafficking council.
While the country meets the minimum standards, the report said the government must increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict complicit officials and labor traffickers.
The Philippines maintained its Tier 1 ranking in a major anti-trafficking report released by the US State Department on Wednesday, 20 July, placing it among the most exemplary nations engaged in the fight against all forms of human trafficking around the globe.
The annual Trafficking in Person report highlighted various solutions initiated by the Philippine government and International Justice Mission that helped the country remain a leader for the seventh year running.
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