Librado urges support for protection of children vs trafficking

Dec. 14, 2007

Davao City City councilor and Council for the Welfare of Children Davao City chairperson Atty. Angela Librado-Trinidad urged here today all concerned individuals and cause-oriented groups to participate in the efforts to eliminate sources of child trafficking in the city.

The international commemoration of the Day Against Child Trafficking on December 12 is an occasion that should remind us of our obligation to uphold the rights of our children and to protect them from atrocious activities that endanger their lives and destroy their dignity, Librado stressed.

The creation of the Davao City Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons (IACAT) last November, 2005 through EO No. 26 has given our campaign against child trafficking the hand to curb violations but only to some extent, Librado revealed.

Librado added that the necessity for an efficient and sustainable campaign against child trafficking remain very significant and compromising. The implementation of Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons law has provided the legal requirements of the campaign but there are other social issues that have to be considered.

Davao City is identified as a source, destination, and transit area for trafficking in persons. Visayan Forum-Davao estimates 269 possible victims of trafficking from January to July 2006 alone. Among these, 25% are minors who are destined to work as domestic workers in Manila and abroad. For this period, 18 girls were trafficked into prostitution and currently under legal action.

Most of the victims of child trafficking are from poor Filipino families whose access to government social services and economic privileges are often lacking. The fact that these children are usually deprived of their basic rights, their options for survival are also restricted. And as a result, they fall preys to the promises of these child traffickers, Librado lamented.

Librado also raised that a crime like child trafficking that is deeply rooted from social conflicts and is driven by rotten culture and political system can only be resolved through the peoples broad understanding and unified efforts.

Our representation as government officials can only help in realizing pro-people laws and policies but the peoples full cooperation is still our best option against child trafficking and other forms of child exploitation, Librado ended.

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