Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Aquino claim on trafficking corrected

Manila Standard Today
April 27, 2011
Eric B. Apolonio

THE American Embassy in Manila on Monday corrected reports that the United States had removed the Philippines from its watch list of “Tier 2” states that do not fully comply with the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

In an e-mail message sent to several publications, embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Brown Thompson said an interim report cited the “significant progress” that the Philippines had made in combating human trafficking, but mentioned no change in its status as a Tier 2 state.

The next tier ranking will be in the next annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which is scheduled for release in June.

The embassy statement contradicted President Benigno Aquino III’s announcement earlier this month that 22 convictions in human trafficking cases helped remove the Philippines from the US watch list. Mr. Aquino made the announcement in General Santos City during the national convention of the Prosecutors League of the Philippines.

The Philippines has been in the United States’ Tier 2 category since 2008.

A US State Department assessment says “there are many cases of overseas Filipino workers all over the globe who are victims of human trafficking and illegal recruitment.”

Filipino women are often lured abroad with false promises of legitimate employment, and are subjected to commercial exploitation in destinations throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America, the assessment says.


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