Marcos urges ASEAN leaders to uphold pledge vs trafficking via technology

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday called on the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to put into practice the Declaration on Combating Trafficking in Persons Caused by the Abuse of Technology.

Marcos is currently in Jakarta, Indonesia taking part in in the 43rd ASEAN summit.

“We look forward to operationalizing the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Combating Trafficking in Persons Caused by the Abuse of Technology,” he said in his intervention at the plenary session of the 43rd ASEAN Summit.

Marcos emphasized that the Philippines will continue to call for more coordinated efforts to strengthen regional and international cooperation, particularly in mobilizing resources to prevent and combat the abuse of technology in human trafficking.

The Philippines serves as the voluntary lead shepherd for the cooperation against trafficking in persons.

This comes after Marcos ordered government agencies to boost efforts against human exploitation and as the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking tightened rules for Filipinos traveling overseas.

In May this year, ASEAN leaders declared their commitment to combatting trafficking in persons through the abuse of technology.

“Acknowledging that while technology, including information and communications technologies, has become an indispensable element of our lives, particularly during the COVID-19 Pandemic, it has also generated risks and consequences of technology abuse, in facilitating transnational and organised criminal activities,” they said in a statement.