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May 24, 2012 / Man in the Mirror

Gulf News: Manual to help trafficking victims

  • By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent
  • Published: 00:00 May 23, 2012

Manila: The labour department has issued a manual on handling human trafficking and illegal recruitment complaints in a bid to curb activities that take advantage of job seekers.

Labour Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said she has issued Department Circular No. 02, Series of 2012, also known as the Manual of Procedures in Handling Complaints on Trafficking in Persons, Illegal Recruitment and Child Labour.

“The Dole [Department of Labour and Employment] strongly advocates safeguarding human dignity, especially of women and children and the issuance of Department Circular No. 02 is just one of the steps we are taking to uphold it,” she said.

Human trafficking is considered a major menace in the country. Most victims dream of working out of the country to lift their families from poverty.

The manual contains standard operating procedures to be used by the Dole regional and field offices in its implementation of the relevant provisions of the Labour Code as well as laws governing human trafficking and illegal recruitment, particularly: Republic Act No. 9231, or the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act; Republic Act No. 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003; and Republic Act No 10022 or the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 and other related laws.

“The manual aims to achieve an organised and effective management of cases on trafficking in persons, illegal recruitment and child labour. It shall also function as a guide in organising coordinated efforts among concerned agencies, which is expected to lead to the effective identification and prosecution of the perpetrators,” Dimapilis-Baldoz said.

Signed May 7 the manual contains step-by-step procedures on handling complaints or cases by the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (Polo) and by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) or Dole regional or field offices.

Guidelines

“The manual contains legal measures to assist and enable the prosecution of the offenders, as well as to afford victims protection, rehabilitation and reintegration into society. It contains guidelines in addressing complaints, reports, or information on illegal recruitment, trafficking in persons and child labour,” Dimapilis-Baldoz said.

The formulation and development of the manual is one of the anti-child labour programmes and strategies outlined in the Labour and Employment Plan 2011-2016.

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