Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Thursday vowed that the Deparment of Justice (DOJ) is still in its full commitment to the intensified fight against human trafficking in the country.
During the 3rd International Dialogue on Human Trafficking held at New World Makati hotel, Aguirre stated that his agency, the DOJ, is still on fight for the eradication of human trafficking, as we are still maintaining the country’s Tier 1 Ranking in the United States Trafficking in Persons report for two consecutive years.
“On behalf of the Department of Justice, we re-affirm to everyone our commitment to the eradication of Human Trafficking in the Philippines. And I believe that we are moving in the right direction as far as this goal is concerned,” Aguirre stated.
However, even though the country is still continuing to maintain the Tier 1 ranking, Aguirre still believed that they can still do more as extra commitment and efforts need to be done.
Aguirre, moreover, requested to all the Filipinos for additional help, and also build a collaboration with the government to capitalize the earlier success as they are continuing to bring the fight against criminals.
“I request everyone to join hands as we bring the fight to the criminals in such critical areas as forced labor and online child exploitation,” Aguirre said.
Meanwhile, Aguirre also commend those who lend their helping hands in the combat against human trafficking, mentioning, “I also commend the dedication of all the men and women who are part of our technical working groups, namely, a. Household Service Workers and Tourist Workers; b. Online Exploitation of Children; and c. Seafarers and Fishers, for your laudable efforts and commendable inputs in the meetings called to address the concerns in your respective areas.”
He also applauded the helping efforts of the Embassy of Netherlands in the Philippines, headed by Ambassador Marion Derckx. “If there is any collaboration or project that we can work on together towards ending human trafficking faster and sooner, please know that my office is always open to you.”
It can be remembered that the Philippines gained Tier 1 status in 2016 after being in Tier 2 from 2011 to 2015 and in Tier 2 Watchlist, making the country the first and the only Southeast Asian nation to achieve the regional leadership position in combating trafficking in persons. | Tretch Melarpes – PTV