PH stays at top tier in US anti-human trafficking report

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 20) – The Philippines has maintained its top classification status in the U.S. Department of State's 2022 Trafficking in Persons Department.

For the seventh straight year, the country earned a Tier 1 ranking in the annual report released by the State Department.

According to the agency, countries and territories under Tier 1 have governments that fully meet the minimum standards of the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 in eliminating human trafficking.

The State Department praised the Philippine government for its “serious and sustained” efforts in addressing human trafficking amid the COVID-19 pandemic such as identifying and tracking trafficking-related corruption cases, convicting human traffickers to significant jail terms, increasing funding to the inter-agency anti-trafficking council, and establishing the Department of Migrant Workers.

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However, Washington flagged Manila for not “vigorously” investigating labor trafficking crimes in the country and not taking steps to investigate and arrest persons implicated in commercial sex activities from trafficking victims.

The report also noted the Philippine government did not report the total number of anti-trafficking operations and investigations of illegal recruitment, as compared to previous years.

The State Department recommended the Philippine government to increase its efforts in arresting and prosecuting labor traffickers, amplify its support to human trafficking victims, and create a central database for information on illegal recruiters and human trafficking cases.