Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) undersecretary-in-charge, said the country should aim to convict more government officials involved in human trafficking if it wishes to maintain its Tier 1 standing in the United States’ Global Trafficking in Persons Report.
Villar noted the Philippines maintained its standing from 2016 up to 2020 with the government meeting the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
“We’ve successfully managed to retain those efforts for five years. It’s not easy to attain this ranking,” Villar pointed out..
“In Southeast Asia, we’re the only one to be able to attain Tier 1 ever,” she added.
The undersecretary noted there have been a total of 565 individuals convicted in human trafficking cases since 2005 but only five of them are government officials.
“One of the recommendations under the Global Trafficking in Persons Report is to get more convictions against complicit government officials,” Aglipay-Villar said during an online forum and press conference on the occasion of the World Day Against Trafficking.
“We’ve been working on that, to get those convictions, and hopefully this year we will be able to achieve that.”