Duterte declares July as 'National Anti-Trafficking in Persons Awareness Month'

Published July 7, 2021, 4:21 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has declared the month of July of every year as the “National Anti-Trafficking in Persons Awareness Month.”

President Rodrigo Duterte reads a document during a meeting with top government officials on July 6, 2021. (Malacañang)

In Proclamation no. 1180, the President directed the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to lead the observance of the month-long campaign to raise public awareness against human trafficking.

The proclamation noted that a United Nations report showed a total of 49,032 people fell victims to human trafficking in 148 countries. As of March 2021, 1,608 victims of trafficking were recorded the Philippines.

“There is a need to strengthen awareness against trafficking in persons, instill social consciousness among the general public, and mobilize more advocates, especially those from vulnerable communities,” the proclamation read.

Under the proclamation, concerned government agencies have been directed to support the initiative, which will be in line with the observance of World Day Against Trafficking every July 30. Local government units and the private sector are also encouraged to participate in the awareness drive against trafficking in persons.

The proclamation also invoked a constitutional provision that declares the State’s policy to value the dignity of every person and guarantee full respect for human rights. The country’s anti-trafficking in persons law also cites the programs protecting people from any threat of violence and exploitation, eliminate human trafficking, and mitigate pressures for involuntary migration and servitude of persons.

The Philippines is also a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, including its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children.