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Embassy Row

Figuring out the ‘traffic’

A significant and sensitive issue in the Philippines, human trafficking has brought many lives in perpetual danger.

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CDA Sadie (second from right), Ministry of Interior Deputy of Police Affairs General Emad Mohammed Mahmood (third from left) and Anti-Human Trafficking in the Police Affairs Agency in Baghdad head Major Ali Shalal.

The joint forces of the Iraq government and the Philippine embassy in Iraq has intensified its action against the rampaging ‘traffic’ in the country.

But no, this is not the traffic that riles many Filipino commuters.

It is one that puts the lives of many in peril — human trafficking.

A significant and sensitive issue in the Philippines, human trafficking has brought many lives in perpetual danger.

Past reports have stated that many Filipinos in Iraq were victims of the crime. Accordingly, Filipinos are being brought to Iraq by using visit visas. Many of the victims have said that they were then sold as household workers.

In fact, on 15 September, the Asuwera Checkpoint Police intercepted a group of four men transporting a Filipino to Basra while only bearing a visit visa. The Al Masraah Police Station coordinated with the Philippine embassy, which then dispatched a team to assist the Filipino in distress.

To ensure that cases like this will not occur again, the two countries worked on solving the issue.

Embassy Charge d’Affaires Jomar Sadie met with Police Affairs deputy general Emad Mahammed Mahmood of the Ministry of Interior and head of anti-affairs Agency in Baghdad.

They tackled the draft of the memorandum of understanding between the Philippines and Iraq which was recently elevated to the Cabinet for their perusal.

The embassy also met with Bangladeshi Ambassador to Iraq Abu Bambang Antarikaso to discuss the drafting of a joint paper regarding the human trafficking concerns in Iraq.

As an outcome of a series of talks, authorities in Iraq have reportedly tightened security on checkpoints especially on routes usually used by unscrupulous agencies.

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