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Binay: Phl to remain in Tier 2 list in trafficking report

MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay expects the Philippines to remain in the Tier 2 list when the US Department of State releases its annual Global Trafficking in Persons (GTIP) report next month. Our goal has always been to be upgraded to Tier 1 status but even if we dont make it this year, given the number of trafficking-related convictions we had since the latest GTIP report was released, we are confident that we will remain in the Tier 2 list, Binay, presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) concerns and chairman emeritus of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), said. Countries in Tier 1 status are those that fully comply with the minimum requirements of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of the United States, while those in Tier 2 do not meet the minimum requirements but are making significant effort. Based on the data submitted to GTIP, there were 12 trafficking-related convictions with 18 persons convicted from April to December 2011, while there were five convictions with 12 persons convicted from January to April this year. To give you an idea of just how significant the increase is, compare the 39 convictions we have accumulated in the past 22 months to the 29 convictions the previous administration had from 2005 to June 2010, Binay noted. The Philippines was elevated to Tier 2 status in the GTIP report released in June last year after having been in the Tier 2 watch-list status from 2009 to 2010. Binay credited the increase in trafficking-related convictions to the creation of the IACAT Operations Center (OpCen) and closer coordination with non-government organizations (NGOs). The IACAT OpCen and our ties with NGOs have been vital to the increase in the number of trafficking cases filed and the number of convictions we secured, he explained. Binay added that during the latest IACAT OpCen operation last April 25, they were able to rescue four women and three minors who were offering sexual services in two KTV bars in Tondo, Manila. We now have the owners of the Boholano and Therese/Nakamura-Sakamura KTV bars in custody and cases for violation of RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) and RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) as amended are now being prepared to be filed against them, he said. http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=804837&publicationSubCategoryId=63

Binay: PHL to keep ranking in US global trafficking report


The Philippines is likely to retain its current Tier 2 status in the US State Departments Global Trafficking in Persons (GTIP) Report set to be released next month, Vice President Jejomar Binay said on Monday. Our goal has always been to be upgraded to Tier 1 status, but even if we dont make it this year, given the number of trafficking-related convictions we had since the latest GTIP report was released, we are confident that we will remain on the Tier 2 list, Binay, concurrent Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns, added. In a statement, Binays office said countries with Tier 1 status are those that fully comply with minimum requirements of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of the United States, while those in Tier 2 do not meet the minimum requirements but are making significant efforts to do so. Binay, also chairman emeritus of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (Iacat), confirmed there were 12 trafficking-related cases resulting in the conviction of at least 18 traffickers from April to December 2011, while five more cases led to the conviction of 12 other traffickers from January to April this year. These convictions, he said, were included in the report submitted by the Philippine government to the State Department for inclusion in this years GTIP Report. Binay cited records affirming a total of 39 convictions in trafficking cases filed by government authorities since President Aquino took power in 2010 in which 48 traffickers charged were convicted. To give you an idea of just how significant the increase is, compare the 39 convictions we have accumulated in the past 22 months to the 29 convictions the previous administration had from 2005 to June 2010, he said. Binay credited the increase in trafficking-related convictions to the creation of the Iacat Operations Center (OpCen) and closer coordination with non-government organizations (NGOs). He said the latest operation of the center included the rescue last April 25 of four women, including three minors, offering sexual services in two KTV bars in Tondo, Manila.

VP BINAY: PHL TO RETAIN RANKING IN U.S.TRAFFICKING REPORT Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said he is optimistic the Philippines will retain its current status in this years Global Trafficking in Persons (GTIP) Report of the U.S. Department of State. Binay, the Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers Concerns and Chairman Emeritus of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), said he expected the Philippines to still be in included in the countries with Tier 2 status in the GTIP report scheduled to be released next month. Our goal has always been to be upgraded to Tier 1 status, but even if we dont make it this year, given the number of trafficking-related convictions we had since the latest GTIP report was released, we are confident that we will remain in the Tier 2 list, he said. Countries in Tier 1 status are those that fully comply with the minimum requirements of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of the United States, while those in Tier 2 do not meet the minimum requirements but are making significant efforts to do so. Binay said that there were 12 trafficking-related convictions with 18 persons convicted from April to December 2011, while there were five convictions with 12 persons convicted from January to April this year. He said that these convictions were included in the report submitted by the Philippine government to the U.S. State Department for inclusion in this years GTIP Report. The Vice President said since there have been 39 convictions since the start of the Aquino administration, with 48 persons convicted. To give you an idea of just how significant the increase is, compare the 39 convictions we have accumulated in the past 22 months to the 29 convictions the previous administration had from 2005 to June 2010, he said. The Philippines was elevated to Tier 2 status in the GTIP Report released in June last year. The country was in Tier 2 Watchlist status in 2009 and 2010. Binay credited the increase in trafficking-related convictions to the creation of the IACAT Operations Center (OpCen) and closer coordination with non-government organizations (NGOs). The IACAT OpCen and our ties with NGOs have been vital to the increase in the number of trafficking cases filed and the number of convictions we secured, he said. Binay said that the latest operation of the IACAT OpCen included the rescue last April 25 of four women, including three minors, offering sexual services in two KTV bars in Tondo, Manila. We now have the owners of the Boholano and Therese/Nakamura-Sakamura KTV bars in custody and cases for violation of RA 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) and RA

7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) as amended are now being prepared to be filed against them, he concluded.

VP Binay sees higher PHL rating in human trafficking fight


Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday expressed confidence that the Philippines will soon achieve a Tier 1 status in the global campaign against human trafficking. In a speech at the 5th Social Watch Global Assembly in Quezon City on Tuesday, Binay said achieving Tier 1 status is possible when the Philippine government conducts more efficient probe and prosecution of both labor and sex trafficking offenders, including government officials. The countrys modest achievements allow us to believe that we could achieve Tier 1 status at the soonest possible time. To that end, we are committed to upgrade our efficiencies in investigating, prosecuting both labor and sex trafficking offenders, including government officials involved," said Binay in his speech. Migration issues are among the topics of the workshops of the Social Watch Global Assembly from July 11 to 13. Over 100 delegates from 60 countries represent women groups, human rights activists, and others are attending the assembly with the theme Claiming Democracy: Accountability For Social And Economic Justice." Improved status Binay, head of the Task Force OFW and Presidential Adviser on OFW concerns, noted that the Philippines was recently upgraded from "Tier 2 watch list" status to "Tier 2" by the United States Department of State. Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. According to the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report of the US State Department, although the Philippines "still does not fully comply with minimum standards to eliminate trafficking, Manila is making significant efforts to do so." According to the US report, those under Tier 1 category are "countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Acts (TVPA) minimum standards." Those under the "Tier 2 Watch List" are countries whose governments do not fully comply with the

Trafficking Victims Protection Acts (TVPA) minimum standards but are making significant efforts to comply with those standards. On the other hand, those under the Tier 2 category are "countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPAs minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards." Victories against human trafficking Our gains in the OFW front have been adequately reported. But our small victories against human trafficking probably require repeating. We gave that task the highest priority, and less than one year later, the US State Department upgraded the status of the Philippines in its 2011 global trafficking in persons report," Binay noted. Democracy is meaningless unless and until our fellow Filipinos get their due. Economic and social justice must make all of us active contributors to the social order, and co-owners of the national economy," Binay said. "The change promised by the Aquino administration must not only benefit all Filipinos. At the end of the day, it must make them agents of change themselves," he added. Binay also noted that the US report recognized the Philippine government's efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders and raise public awareness on trafficking. The US State Department noted that "during the year, the Philippine Department of Justice and Supreme Court issued directives to expedite the disposition of backlogged trafficking cases." "The (Philippine) government convicted 25 trafficking offenders an increase from nine convictions in the previous year including two convictions in cases involving forced labor, the Philippines first-ever labor trafficking convictions," the report said. "The government enacted numerous measures and policies to improve institutional responses to human trafficking for this year and in future years, such as increased training of judicial, law enforcement, and diplomatic officials on trafficking issues; the creation and funding of anti-trafficking task forces in airports, seaports, regions, and localities; and an increase in dedicated staff to combating trafficking," the report added. 2011 US trafficking report The 2011 US trafficking in persons report said the Philippines "is a source country and, to a much lesser extent, a destination and transit country for men, women, and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor."

The US State Department noted that a significant number of Filipinos who migrate abroad for work become victims of "involuntary servitude" in factories, at construction sites, on fishing vessels, on agricultural plantations, and as domestic workers. "A significant number of women in domestic servitude abroad also face rape and violent physical and sexual abuse," the report said. Recommendations for the Philippines Some of the US State Department recommended actions for the Philippines to improve its handling of human trafficking cases are: sustain the intensified effort to investigate, prosecute, and convict effectively an increased number of both labor and sex trafficking offenders involved in the trafficking of Filipinos both within the country and abroad; continue to fund and strengthen the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and provide fulltime staffing and management for the IACAT Secretariat; increase funding for anti-trafficking programs within IACAT member agencies; address the significant backlog of trafficking cases by developing mechanisms to track and monitor the status of cases filed with the Department of Justice and those under trial in the courts;

strictly enforce anti-corruption laws and expedite adjudication of cases filed by the Ombudsmans anti-trafficking task force;

increase victim shelter resources to expand the government shelter system to assist a greater number of trafficking victims, including male victims of both sex and labor trafficking, and

develop and implement programs aimed at reducing demand for commercial sex acts; and assess and improve methods to measure and address domestic and international labor trafficking.

Binay: Phl will attain Tier 1 rating in global campaign vs human trafficking
MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay expressed confidence that the country will attain a Tier 1 rating in the global campaign against human trafficking after being raised to Tier 2 rank in the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report of the US Department of State. In upgrading the countrys status in the campaign against human trafficking, the US Department of State recognized improved efforts in the Philippines to curb human trafficking, especially with the conviction of 25 offenders. In a speech delivered during the 5th Social Watch Global Assembly held at the Sulo Riviera Hotel in Quezon City Tuesday night, Binay said this can be achieved through more efficient investigation and prosecution of human traffickers. The countrys modest achievements allow us to believe that we could achieve Tier 1 status at the soonest possible time. To that end, we are committed to upgrade our efficiencies in investigating, prosecuting both labor and sex trafficking offenders, including government officials involved, Binay said. Binay, who is also the presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers concerns, said the government would go beyond protective and responsive measures, and would strive to create an environment that would make it impossible for traffickers to operate. What must be done is to make sure that Filipinos leaving for jobs abroad are equipped with adequate technical skills and the ability to cope with and adapt to the new culture they will encounter in their adopted country. (The) government must also continue, in collaboration with other labor-exporting countries, to work for an international agreement that would allow family members to join workers wherever they go, Binay said.