In a news article dated September 28th, 2010, President Benigno Aquino gave a statement calling for tougher actions against human trafficking. Since then, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) - the government's national body for the coordination of all anti-trafficking efforts, currently chaired by the Undersecretary of Justice, has been working hard to combat trafficking in various fronts all in partnership with civil society.
The Multi-Sectoral Network lead by the Visayan Forum Foundation and its partners are intensifying the War Against Human Trafficking (WAHT) and as a highlight of this campaign, the MSNAT is holding a "Commitment Week" on March 13th to 18th, 2011. This week-long event will serve as a platform to convene diverse leaders in their respective sectors and fields to commit towards providing immediate and appropriate response mechanisms to address human trafficking in the areas of prevention, protection, and healing and reintegration.
It will be attended by committed and action-oriented movers and shakers from the government, business sector, socio-civic groups, academe and non-government organizations. The impact of their ideas and actions will stimulate and inspire other businesses and sectors to address human trafficking seriously and raise awareness that practical steps, no matter how simple they may be, can and should be taken."
Schedule of Events
- March 13 2011, McKinley Hill - Zonta's Run Against Trafficking (R.A.T. race): 3k, 5k, and 10k fun run.
- March 14-18 2011, Philippine House of Representatives, Philippine Senate, and SM Mall of Asia - Photo Exhibit: Mga Liham ni Neneng (Letters of Neneng)
- March 15 2011, Ruby A & B Ballroom, Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila - Commitment Day Against Trafficking
- March 16 2011, Museo Pambata - Survivors' Fun Day
- March 18 2011, Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law - Forum and Film Showing
About the Visayan Forum Foundation
The Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc. is at the forefront of providing interventions for the protection, healing and reintegration of victims of human trafficking. Together with its partners, the Visayan Forum aborts trafficking in transit areas by guarding choke points and domestic transit points in seaports and airports. It operates halfway houses in the ports that provide a center-based package of protective services, which includes an information technology training project with Microsoft to prepare survivors for reintegration.
The Visayan Forum's strong partnership with the Philippine government and private shipping companies was hailed as one of the international best practices by the U.S. State Department in its 2005 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. The Anti-Slavery International, the world's oldest human rights organization, conferred the 2005 Anti-Slavery award on Visayan Forum's President and Founder, Ma. Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, who was also recognized by the UK government as one of the Modern-Day Abolitionists in the celebration of the Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act in March 2007.
Concept Paper: prepared by the Visayan Forum Foundation. For more information, visit their website at http://www.visayanforum.org/.