Philippines to intensify efforts to crack down on human trafficking
Manila, Aug 27 (IANS) Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos has ordered the government to intensify the drive against human trafficking, a Department of Justice (DOJ) official said.
At a media forum, Justice Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano said on Saturday that Marcos has given “specific instructions” to strengthen measures to crack down on human trafficking, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Southeast Asian country continues to grapple with Filipinos falling victim to syndicates smuggling people out of the country in the guise of lucrative work. The Bureau of Immigration has barred nearly 14,000 Filipinos from leaving the country at airports from January to May this year, according to official data.
Clavano said Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos are hotspots for illegal trafficking victims.
“Our population is very migratory,” Clavano said, adding that around 10 per cent of the population seeks to find job opportunities abroad, which complicates the regulations on human trafficking.
The solution is to create more jobs in the Philippines and to limit the opportunities for human trafficking, he added.
Meanwhile, the Philippines is working with its ASEAN partners to strengthen cooperation against transnational crime.
“We engage with our counterparts from different countries so that we can gather the best practices and we can also keep up with the trends in the trafficking industry or area,” Clavano said.
Marcos is expected to raise the issue at the ASEAN summit in Indonesia next month, he added.