MANILA, Sept. 5 (Mabuhay) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), co-chair of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), reiterated its appeal for increased vigilance against human trafficking.
In a statement issued Thursday, the DSWD stressed that the public should be more watchful in areas that experienced devastating disasters like CompostelaValley and Davao Oriental.
According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, since poverty is being experienced in these areas, more individuals become prone to human trafficking.
“Poverty is one of the main root causes of trafficking. In times of crisis, sickness and hunger, families in dire financial needs become easy prey to illegal recruiters who will promise them lucrative jobs in the country’s major cities or abroad,” Sec. Soliman said.
She also said that as part of its intensified advocacy campaign against human trafficking, the DSWD office in Davao Region recently launched the “2013 Advocacy Campaign Against Human Trafficking” at the NCCC Mall Atrium in DavaoCity.
She added that the launching was sealed by signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between local government units and IACAT members.
“The partnership aims to raise massive awareness on the dangers of trafficking through the distribution of advocacy materials to partner agencies, mall representatives, taxi companies, and schools,” she added.
The said advocacy materials that are being distributed contain ways on how to “spot” the most common “modus operandi” of human traffickers in enticing the victims.
According to DSWD, among the common signs that the public should be watchful are promising of huge amount salaries to parents of the victims or offering of high-paying jobs abroad with fake visas, marriage certificates and other travel documents to facilitate their exit.
When they end-up in other jobs not as promised, the victims then will find-out that they were victimized by human traffickers, Soliman said.
In its fight against the campaign, the DSWD also added that the public can participate by reporting through the DSWD hotline number (02) 9319141 or the IACT Action Line 1343 or visit the IACAT website at www.IACAT.gov.ph.
Based on the DSWD 2012 data, there were some 1,376 individual-victims of various kinds of trafficking nationwide.
The DSWD has recorded 645 cases for the first semester of 2013.
These victims who were rescued by DSWD and IACAT were being provided with adequate recovery and reintegration services under the DSWD’s Recovery and Reintegration Programs for Trafficked Persons.
Social debriefing and teaching of livelihood opportunities were being facilitated in the said centers to help the victims recover faster and be productive members of the society. (MNS)