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CSOs and local recruitment hold dialogue on human trafficking

Leaders of the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the Recruitment Industry will hold today (Jan. 14) a dialogue on human trafficking aimed at forging a framework of cooperation on how they can join hands in the fight against human trafficking and human slavery.

The one-day dialogue will bring in experts in the government to help the participants assess the impact of the ASEAN economic integration on the recruitment, deployment and reintegration of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), especially among those most vulnerable.

The dialogue which will be held at The Blackboard Restaurant in the Podium Mall, Ortigas, Pasig City is being organized by the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute and LBS Recruitment Solutions headed by Lito Soriano.

“We have called in government officials who are directly in charge of the government’s fight against human trafficking to help us assess the impact of the ASEAN economic integration which is set to commence this year,” OFW Advocate Susan “Toots” Ople said.

Ople, who heads the Ople Center, pointed out that this dialogue is also a response by the volunteer sector as well as the local recruitment industry to the invitation of Pope Francis to reflect upon his call to address human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

“The sheer numbers of people who are victims of forced labor exploitation around the world should alarm not only governments here and abroad, but also, among industry leaders and civil society groups,” she said.

Ople noted more people who are mired in abject poverty are lured to leave the country and find work abroad where they often fall victims to labor exploitation akin to slavery.

Based on 2014 Global Slavery Index, about 29.8 million people are working as modern-day slaves, 18.7 million of whom are exploited in private economies, such as agriculture, domestic work, construction and manufacturing.

Among the resource speakers are Director Robert L. Larga of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) who will give the participants some updates on the Philippine government’s fight against labor trafficking, while former Labor Undersecretary Josephus Jimenez will discuss the impact of the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economic integration to the OFWs.

Prosecutor Darlene Pajarito of the Interagency Council Against Trafficking of the Department of Justice have confirmed her attendance to discuss the salient features of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.

Among those expected to attend are from Philippine Association of Service Exporters Inc. (PASEI), Australia & New Zealand Association of Employment Providers of the Philippines (ANZAEPP), Global Asia Alliance Consultants, Inc., Kabalikat ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Inc. (KAMPI), Philippine Migrants Rights Watch (PMRW), and Philippine Recruitment Agencies Accredited to Saudi Arabia (PRAASA). (30)

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