Legarda Bats for Strengthened Info and Education Campaign to Combat Trafficking

December 15, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today said that a strengthened information and education campaign on human trafficking would help combat the illegal human trade.


Legarda, principal sponsor of Republic Act No. 10364, the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, said that there should be a massive information and education campaign against all forms of human trafficking, including cyber pornography.


“Technological advancements, such as the Internet, are supposed to make life easier and get things done faster. But unscrupulous individuals have been taking advantage of these innovations. The Internet has become a new avenue for human trafficking,” she explained.


“With the Internet allowing communication to cross national borders in a matter of seconds, everything is now within reach, and even human trafficking can now be done online through cyber sex trafficking,” she added.


The Senator said that the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act aims to address the new challenges brought by human trafficking, such as cybersex.


Under the amended law, harboring a child for purposes of prostitution or production of pornographic materials is considered trafficking under the law.


Moreover, even acts that constitute attempted trafficking in persons are punishable. Accomplices and accessories to the crime will also be meted their due penalties.


“We have shown significant improvements in combatting human trafficking. In the 2014 Global Slavery Index, the Philippines is no. 1 in Asia and no. 29 worldwide out of 166 countries in terms of government response against human trafficking,” said Legarda.


“These numbers should not, however, give us a sense of complacency. While this is laudable, we cannot celebrate just yet because we know that there are still many Filipino women, children and men here in the country and in other parts of the world who are hoping and praying that soon they will be rescued from slavery and be able to tread on a new path for a much brighter future,” she stressed.


Legarda also called for continuous support to the agencies of government forming the Inter-Agency Council Against (IACAT) for the full and effective implementation of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.


“The illegal human trade is a complex web. Battling it requires a concerted effort from all sectors of society. But preventing the crime and protecting our children from trafficking can actually start at home by educating our children on how they can protect themselves, including on the responsible use of the Internet,” Legarda concluded.