Loi Urges Strict Enforcement of Law vs Human Trafficking
Byline: BRENDA PIQUERO TUAZON
Sen. Luisa Loi Ejercito Estrada appealed yesterday for strict government enforcement of the Anti-Trafficking Law of 2003 amid official reports listing at least 1.62 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as victims of a global web of white slavery and sexual servitude.
Failure to fully and speedily implement the law, she said, may force the United States government to let the Philippines drop under its State Department "Tier 3" category of countries not complying with minimum international criteria to curb human trafficking.
Last years passage of the landmark law principally authored by the wife of Sen. Estrada, wife of detained former President Joseph Estrada, was aimed at putting an end to the countrys campaign against the fast rising and "frightening" rising number of poor Filipino women and children who have fallen prey to the syndicated network of prostitution and other forms of sexual abuses.
The new law was also meant to join hands with the community of nations collective battle against human trafficking to restore human dignity to victims of syndicated abuse of their basic rights wrought by financial adversity.
"The non-enforcement by government agencies of the Anti-Trafficking Law that was enacted into law last year would give the impression of official lack of concern over the frightening number of Filipino victims which now stands at a conservative figure of at least 1.62 million OFWs," Mrs. Estrada said.
The lady legislator aired serious concern over what she called apparent government disregard of the Anti-Trafficking Law which will make the Philippines a trouble-free destination for worldwide syndicates to harbor and exploit victims of prostitution and other forms of sexual abuse among women and minors.
The US State Department, she added, despite the enact of the law, has not removed the Philippines from its "Tier 2" category that lists countries that fail to comply with minimum international standards to curb sexual abuse against women and children. …