The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) recently said it is further intensifying its campaign against human trafficking as it marked major gains in 2012.
According to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, IACAT chair, the task force’s optimism is buoyed by the growing support of private sector and international partners, as well as by gains in the prosecution of persons suspected of involvement in human trafficking operations.
De Lima said “the enemy may seem formidable but I believe it is no match to the determination, courage and commitment of a people working together to eradicate this modern-day evil.”
She also lauded a growing recognition in the international community of the Philippine government’s campaign against human trafficking as a model of success for the region.
Justice Undersecretary Jose Vicente Salazar, IACAT head, meanwhile said that, in 2012, the task force has prosecuted and convicted one hundred (100) individuals including government officials suspected of conniving with human trafficking syndicates.
“IACAT’s international ties were also strengthened through collaboration and cooperation as shown in the recent visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Trafficking and other agreements forged with other sovereign countries,” Salazar explained.
He also said the recent launching of the Second National Strategic Action Plan Against Trafficking in Persons for 2012-2016 launched in December 2012 “has further boosted the teamwork among IACAT member-agencies and its partners.
Salazar added that other key officials of the anti-human trafficking body similarly expressed confidence that “our forces on the ground are committed and determined to set this clear strategy in motion”.
“This is the result of the depth of their understanding of the nature and forms of human trafficking; the crucial role of law enforcement tools against its perpetrators; and the power of our partnership and collaboration,” Salazar added.