Baldoz thanks EU for P6.8 million support for PH's anti-human trafficking and illegal recruitment drive

Date Posted: August 11th, 2014 02:09 AM


Baldoz thanks EU for P6.8 million support for PH's anti-human trafficking and illegal recruitment drive

Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday expressed sincere thanks to the European Union for providing the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, a DOLE attached agency, a grant of EUR 115, 556 (P6.8 million) to help fight human trafficking and illegal recruitment in the Philippines.

"We at the DOLE are grateful to the EU for this financial support. I will ensure that the grant will be used as intended: to strengthen the POEA's capabilities and enhance cooperation between national and local authorities in combatting illegal recruitment and trafficking," said Baldoz after receiving a report on the grant from POEA Administrator Hans Leo J. Cacdac.

Cacdac, in his report, said that the grant is part of the technical assistance the EU is providing the Philippines through the project, Migration EU Expertise, or MIEUX.

MIEUX is an initiative jointly implemented by the EU and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) that aims to enhance the capacities of partner countries and regional organisations to better address all areas of migration, including the fight against trafficking in human beings (THB), through a comprehensive approach to migration management by providing short-term technical assistance to both national and regional administrations worldwide.

"This grant builds on the first technical cooperation between the EU and the POEA under the MIEUX framework in 2012, where key results include the enhanced POEA information tools on pre-employment and pre-deployment seminars," said Cacdac.

Illegal recruitment and human trafficking remain big issues in the Philippines despite stringent laws. The POEA reveals that 135 cases of illegal recruitment with 224 victims have been reported in 2011 alone. Government and NGO estimates in 2007 have placed the number of trafficked women and children to as high as 400,000 and 100,000 respectively.

In March 2014, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), of which the DOLE is an active member, urged local governments to address the issue of human trafficking at the local level through enactment and implementation of local ordinances.

Cacdac, in his report to Secretary Baldoz, said that in 2013, the POEA had signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with 117 LGUs to set up help desks for overseas workers and their families in a number of cities and municipalities. A total of 522 MOUs have been signed since 2006.

He said European technical experts are presently in Manila to provide peer-to-peer support to POEA in crafting a guideline on monitoring of the MoU with LGUs and enhancement of their investigation and prosecution techniques.

"Addressing illegal recruitment and human trafficking presents many challenges as these crimes happen at the level of communities. In this instance, local governments have a big role to play because they are on the ground. Close coordination between national efforts and local actions is, therefore, needed. This new technical cooperation project with the EU, in partnership with ICMPD, will help us achieve this goal," said Cacdac.

EU Ambassador to the Philippines Guy Ledoux had said that illegal recruitment and the related crime of human trafficking are some of the most urgent issues that need to be addressed not only by governments, but by all sectors.

References: Robert Larga, Director, Licensing and Regulation Office, POEA;
Pauline DUNOYER, MIEUX Project Officer, ICMPD; Thelma Gecolea, Press and Information Officer, EU; and Margarito Raynera, Programme Officer

Created Oct 23rd 2014, 14:29


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