Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Philippines
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||24 February 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Philippines, 24 February 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b8e7a6ec.html [accessed 22 September 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
[From the introductory text accompanying this report on the U.S. Department of State website: "In most cases, the Interim Assessment is intended to serve as a tool by which to gauge the anti-trafficking progress of countries that may be in danger of slipping a tier in the upcoming June 2010 TIP Report and to give them guidance on how to avoid a Tier 3 ranking. It is a tightly focused progress report, assessing the concrete actions a government has taken to address the key deficiencies highlighted in the June 2009 TIP Report. The Interim Assessment covers actions undertaken between the beginning of May – the cutoff for data covered in the June TIP Report – and November. Readers are requested to refer to the annual TIP Report for an analysis of large-scale efforts and a description of the trafficking problem in each particular country or territory."]
The Government of the Philippines demonstrated some progress to combat trafficking in persons since the release of the 2009 Report. Since April 2009, the government has obtained eight sex trafficking convictions, five of which resulted from prosecutions conducted by an NGO on behalf of the victims; the Philippines government allows private lawyers to prosecute cases under the direction and control of public prosecutors.
On September 30, a Manila court convicted a former police officer and his accomplice for the sex trafficking of children in 2005 – the first known conviction of a public official for a trafficking-related offense in the Philippines. The government did not convict any offenders of labor trafficking. Despite ongoing government efforts to expedite the adjudication of trafficking prosecutions, a significant backlog of trafficking cases remains in Philippine courts. In October 2009, three operations by local police in Cebu resulted in the rescue of more than 50 women and girls trafficked into prostitution, 17 of which were minors identified by authorities as trafficking victims.
The government continued efforts to train police, prosecutors, and social workers on the country's 2003 trafficking law through various training seminars. The government assisted U.S. authorities in the December 2009 conviction in Florida of an American citizen who traveled to the Philippines to have sex with two minors. The government continued to conduct some anti-trafficking awareness campaigns directed at domestic and foreign clients of the sex trade in the Philippines. In June 2009, the Bureau of Immigration began disseminating a public warning against human trafficking at airports and on immigration cards. The Philippine Congress did not allocate funding to the Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking for fiscal year 2010. The committee continued to rely heavily on funding from foreign governments and donations from Philippine NGOs and corporations.