The Philippines is offering to share its experience in protecting migrant workers’ rights and curbing illegal recruitment and human trafficking with European countries facing similar problems, Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said.
The Vice President said he had the chance to meet with European Commission (EC) Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom during the 7th European Development Days (EDD) in Brussels, Belgium and discussed the government’s efforts at curbing the incidence of illegal recruitment and human trafficking.
“I informed the commissioner that we have ratified the ILO (International Labour Organization) convention concerning decent work for domestic workers, and pointed out our efforts to protect our OFWs and address the social costs of migration,” he said.
“I told the commissioner that as a result of these efforts we have developed perhaps the most advanced infrastructure for protecting our nationals abroad,” he added.
Binay is the Chairman Emeritus of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce Against Illegal Recruitment (PTFAIR).
He said the Malmstrom agreed that the European Union (EU), which has its own problems in human trafficking, could learn a lot from the Philippines in terms of managing migration and combating human trafficking and illegal recruitment.
Eight countries in Europe have been listed in Tier 2 category in the 2012 Global Trafficking in Persons Report of the United States Department of State. Twenty-seven were classified in Tier 1. Cyprus was the lone member in Tier 2 Watch List.
The Philippines was classified in the Tier 2 category in the same report.
The annual report of the U.S State Department classifies countries into tiers depending on their compliance to the U.S. Trafficking in Persons Protection Act, with countries in Tier 1 as fully compliant and those in Tier 3 as non-compliant.
The IACAT recently scored its landmark 100th person convicted for human trafficking since the enactment of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.
Binay said that for 2012 alone, the IACAT has been able to secure convictions for 28 persons in 17 human trafficking cases.