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Phl, Iraq step up drive vs human trafficking




Iraq's main port is located in the city of Basra.

The Philippine Embassy in Baghdad intensified its drive against human trafficking and illegal recruitment of Filipinos to Iraq in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy to curb the incidence of human trafficking and illegal recruitment.

Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jomar T. Sadie met with Police Affairs Deputy General Emad Mohammed Mahmood of the Ministry of Interior and Head of Anti-Human Trafficking Major Ali Shalalin of the Police Affairs Agency in Baghdad recently to draft a Memorandum of Understanding.

The Embassy also met with Bangladeshi Ambassador to Iraq Abu Maksud M. Forhad and Indonesian Ambassador to Iraq Bambang Antarikaso to discuss the drafting of a joint paper on human trafficking concerns of sending states to Iraq.

The initial group, comprised of the Embassy of India and the Embassy of Pakistan, is scheduled to meet with other missions next week to consolidate concerns and proposals.

As a result of the concerted efforts of labor-sending states to Iraq, including the Philippines, authorities tightened security on checkpoints, especially on routes used by unscrupulous agencies.

Filipinos are reportedly being brought to Iraq using visit visas. Later on, victims are “sold” as household workers to families in Iraq.

On 15 September, the Asuwera Checkpoint Police intercepted four men transporting a Filipino to Basra while bearing only an expired visit visa. The Al Masraah Police Station coordinated the matter with the Philippine Embassy, which immediately dispatched a team to assist a Filipino, identified only as Glo.

Upon representation of the Embassy with the Iraqi authorities, Glo was repatriated to the Philippines after two days. Charges were filed against the four men.


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