December 12 2011 International Day Against Trafficking

I.  DECEMBER 12 THEME

This coming December 12, PACT members, partners and other anti-trafficking advocates will again conduct nationally coordinated campaign activities in celebration of the International Day Against Trafficking.

PACT celebrates this year’s campaign with the theme “Komunidad Palakasin, Child Trafficking Sugpuin!”The campaign is conducted yearly in commemoration of the signing of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, also known as the Palermo Protocol.

PACT will conduct various activities all over the country also in support of the Inter Agency Council Against Trafficking’s (IACAT) Day Against Trafficking campaign with the theme, Laban Kontra Human Trafficking, Laban Nating Lahat!

Significant developments occurred for the year 2011 in the campaign against trafficking. The country was elevated from Tier 2 watchlist to Tier 2 ranking by the US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report in 2011.

The hard work of civil society organizations and the resolve of government agencies and local government units to improve the implementation of RA 9208 made such an accomplishment possible.

Children are often at the risk of being exploited because of circumstances in the community. We must continue to intensify our anti-trafficking campaign to give attention to the root causes of trafficking such as globalization and poverty, culture, gender discrimination, lack of education, breakdown of families and natural and man-made disasters among others. These problems impact on both the family and the community and its intensification threaten to make children more vulnerable to trafficking.

We all need to be concerned and intervene at these levels – family and community – to address the root causes, reduce vulnerability and begin to explore a more sustainable response to child trafficking.

II.  2011 INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING CAMPAIGN

In 2009, PACT reiterated that the campaign to stop child trafficking is the collective responsibility of each and every member of society through the campaign theme, “Proteksyon ng Bata, Responsibilidad Nating Lahat.”  In 2010, the call was for improving access to Justice and Protection for Children Victims of Trafficking. The call was timely as the country needed to lift itself from Tier 2 watchlist by improving the prosecution of cases, strengthening law enforcement, supporting trafficking victims by making services accessible to trafficked children and in general, effectively implementing the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

This year, we stress the important role of the community in creating an environment that will help to prevent child trafficking including ensuring that child protection mechanisms are in place.

In support of the theme, PACT supports the following calls:

  1. Encourage the political participation of stakeholders and dutybearers at the community level toward creating local mechanisms that address trafficking and other forms of child exploitation and abuse;  Specifically:
    1. Work toward the implementation of laws and policies specifically through lobby/cooperation with the LGU in coming up with anti-trafficking ordinances and other related measures in their area and monitor the implementation of such;
    2. Call for the functionalization of the Barangay Child Protection Council and/or the Barangay VAW desk to work toward preventing trafficking and responding to trafficking cases;
    3. Create monitoring and quick reaction teams at the community level;
  2. Build the capacity of the community to raise public awareness
    1. Empower communties/barangays to raise awareness on the abovementioned issues, on child trafficking,  gender and on children’s rights;
    2. Continuously address at the community level cultural perceptions and practices that abet the sexual exploitation and abuse of women and children, including family violence, consumerism, etc…
  3. Enhance the economic self sufficiency of communities to contribute in the prevention of child trafficking;
    1. Particularly bring into the community various interventions that will help to alleviate poverty;
    2. Work in an integrated and concerted manner so that people’s projects and services can create an impact at the grassroots level.
    3. Coordinate with other government agencies and civil society groups that could assist children and young people in getting education including vocational and technical skills;

Allot human and financial resources for the above-mentioned prevention and intervention programs for child trafficking.

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