MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has declared July of every year as the “National Anti-Trafficking in Persons Awareness Month.”
Proclamation No. 1180, signed by Duterte on July 6, directs the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), in coordination with concerned agencies, to lead the observance and implementation of the event.
“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.
The funding requirement for the implementation of the proclamation will be charged against available appropriations of the IACAT.
Funding requirements for the succeeding years will be incorporated in the budget proposal of the IACAT.
All other agencies and instrumentalities of the national government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, are enjoined, and all local government units, the private sector, and relevant non-government organizations and civil society groups, are encouraged to actively participate and render necessary support and assistance to the IACAT for the implementation of the proclamation.
The Philippines already observes July 30 of every year as the World Day Against Trafficking and conducts relevant programs, campaigns, and activities as signatory to the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.
Based on the 2020 UN Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, a total of 49,032 victims of trafficking in persons had been reported in 148 countries as of March 2021.
Of this number, a total of 1,608 victims of trafficking based on convictions had been recorded in the Philippines.
Section 11, Article II of the Constitution declares it a policy of the state to value the dignity of every human person and guarantee full respect for human rights. (PNA)