US cites more efforts for PHL to exert in war vs trafficking PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 22 June 2013 11:13

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday released the 13th annual Trafficking in Persons  (TIP) Report in a ceremony at the State Department in Washington, D.C.  As required by U.S. law, this is the most  comprehensive report on governmental efforts worldwide to combat human trafficking.

As both a source country and, to a lesser extent, a destination and transit country for sex trafficking and forced labor, the Philippines remained at Tier 2 on the State Department’s three tier ranking system.  Despite making significant efforts to combat trafficking, the Government of the Philippines does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, the TIP Report noted.

The U.S. government recognized the sustained level of funding, approximately $1.2 million in 2012, that the Government of the Philippines committed to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking and its continued efforts to implement anti-trafficking laws and policies.  The report commended the expansion of Philippine anti-trafficking legislation, but noted that underlying weaknesses in the judicial system stymie efforts to hold trafficking offenders accountable, as reflected in the disproportionately low number of convictions.

The trafficking of children, both boys and girls, remains a serious problem in the Philippines.  Increasingly, Filipino children are coerced into performing sexual acts for foreign viewers of internet broadcasts. This cyber pornography market has increased the risk of boys becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation, according to the International Justice Mission, an NGO working to combat trafficking in the Philippines.

Given the number of rescuing operations where children were removed from both forced labor and sex trafficking situations, the report makes clear that there is a strong need to take a fresh look at the trafficking of underage persons.  To this end, the State Department recommends that the Government of the Philippines develop and implement programs aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts, including child sex tourism.

Working in cooperation with governments and civil society around the world, the United States and the American people  look forward to the day when all people may be freed from the shackles of modern day slavery.

The entire 2013 TIP Report is available via the following Internet URL: http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/.  Additional information is available on the U.S. Embassy’s web site at http://philippines.usembassy.gov