CBCP to hold national seminar on human trafficking, slavery

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MANILA, Feb. 13, 2014—Worried by the worsening cases of human trafficking and modern-day slavery, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will be holding a national seminar-workshop to enlighten the public about the realities of these social phenomena. 

Dubbed as “Let’s Move: Knock-out Human Trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery,” the gathering is slated on February 27 to 28 at the University of Asia and the Pacific. 

The seminar-workshop aims to increase the awareness and understanding of the public to the vulnerabilities of women and the youth to human trafficking, serving as a response to the call of the Supreme Pontiff to address cases of human trafficking and slavery in the modern times. 

Through the workshop, participants are urged “to develop capacities to report, immediately respond to, and pro-actively address trafficking and slavery situations.” 

Formulating practical and concrete plans of action to end modern-day slavery through various means including new media platforms is also among the activities to be done in the 2-day conference. 

Worsening trafficking 

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimated that 20.9 million people around the world are victims of forced labor, according to the 2012 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). This figure includes human trafficking victims for labor and sexual exploitation. 

The same report noted that in 2009, 59 percent of the victims were women. Men accounted for 14 percent, while children were pegged at 27 percent (17 percent for girls and 10 percent for boys). 

Among the detected cases of human trafficking worldwide from 2007 to 2010, sexual trafficking was more common in Europe, Central Asia, and America, while forced labor was more common in South and East Asia, Africa, Middle East, and the Pacific.

Trafficking for the removal of organs was accounted at 0.2 percent of the total number of detected cases in 2010. 

Conference topics 

On the first day of the conference, topics to be discussed include “Human Trafficking: An Unprecedented Global Human Rights Challenge – the Needed,” “The Government Response to Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery,” “A Situationer on Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery,” “Understanding the Expanded ATIP (Anti-Trafficking in Persons) Law,” and “Discussion on Holistic Interventions to End Human Trafficking.” 

“The National Strategic Action Plan to End Human Trafficking,” “Reaching out to Migrants/Legal Response to Overseas Cases,” “The Filipino Family as the Key Force to end human trafficking and slavery,” “Mobilizing Individual and Collective Actions and Partnerships Utilizing Multi- Media Tools and Social Media,” “The Church’s Vision on the Fight Against Human trafficking and Modern Day Slavery,” and “The University Perspective on Human Trafficking” will be discussed on the second day. 

The conference will be graced by John Michael Klink, International Catholic Migration Commission President; Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Inter-Agency Council on Anti-Trafficking of Persons Chairman; and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, among many others. 

The event is organized by the CBCP Office on Women, CBCP Commission on Youth, CBCP Commission on Social Action, Justice and Peace, CBCP Commission on Pastoral Care for Migrants and Itinerant People, CBCP Legal Office, and CBCP Commission on Culture. 

Supporting organizations include the University of Asia and the Pacific, Visayan Forum Foundation, Inc., JPIC Commission of the Dominican Sisters of Siena, Zonta Club of Makati & Environs, Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines-CMC, Talitha Kum Southeast Asia, Pro-life Philippines, and the Wholistic Transformation Resource Center. 

Interested applicants may contact Ms. Fenny Tatad (of CBCP) 0920-975-8801 or Alma (of Visayan Forum) 0923-656-4502. (Jennifer Orillaza)

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