April 14, 2024

Focal persons of the Regional Committee Against Trafficking-Violence Against Women and their Children (RCAT-VAWC) were oriented on Republic Act 11862 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2022.

The law, which took effect in July, amended RA 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003.

Cordillera Against Trafficking Task Force Head Prosecutor Ruth Bernabe emphasized the role of each RCAT-VAWC member and other government agencies and stakeholders in the prevention of VAWC-related cases and trafficking in person.

One salient provision of the law is making accountable “Internet intermediaries” who “knowingly or by gross negligence allow their Internet infrastructure to be used to promote trafficking in persons.”

The law also classifies producing, printing, and issuing or distributing unissued, tampered with, or fake passports and birth certificates as acts that promote trafficking in persons.

Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera Director Leo Quintilla said there is a need to understand the new law and strengthen the campaign against VAWC and trafficking in persons because the possibilities cybercrime and child pornography are high with the opening of tourism, resumption of face-to-face classes, and Internet connectivity.

To further strengthen the campaign, Quintilla said, “We have to engage non-government organizations and other civil society organizations to better address human, especially child trafficking.”

He added the Cordillera has a very good economic condition and part of sustaining it is protecting the children. “We have to defend and to sustain this gain of Cordillera and part of it is the protection of children. They have to be protected, they have to be in school, and they have to graduate and to gain a good job or opportunity para ma-sustain ang growth ng Cordillera,” Quintilla added. – Debbie E. Gasingan