DSWD holds traf­fick­ing aware­ness gab for IDPs

Sun.Star Davao - - TOP STORIES - By Ka­rina V. Cañedo

THE Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare and Devel­op­ment (DSWD) is now rais­ing aware­ness against hu­man traf­fick­ing in evac­u­a­tion cen­ters lo­cated near con­flict ar­eas since evac­uees are the usual tar­get of il­le­gal re­cruiters and traf­fick­ers.

So­cial Wel­fare Of­fi­cer I Alma Acera, dur­ing the I-Speak me­dia fo­rum yes­ter­day, said an in­ten­si­fied cam­paign against traf­fick­ing is be­ing pushed by the In­ter­a­gency Coun­cil Against Traf­fick­ing (Ia­cat) in the ar­eas af­fected by armed con­flict like Marawi.

“We im­me­di­ately re­spond to evac­u­a­tion cen­ters to raise aware­ness about dif­fer­ent forms of abuses, in­clud­ing hu­man traf­fick­ing and child pornog­ra­phy,” Acera said.

“Tin­uod nga once nga naay mas­sive dis­place­ment, mga calami­ties mga con­flict, isa ka lu­gar ang evac­u­a­tion cen­ters nga gana­han kaayo ang mga re­cruiters. Isa na siya ka vul­ner­a­ble sit­u­a­tion sa mga tao kay dali lang sila ma­haylo gani sa mga re­cruiter mao na ma-traf­fic (It is true that once there are mas­sive dis­place­ments due to calami­ties and con­flicts in an area, the evac­u­a­tion cen­ters are a usual tar­get of the re­cruiters since it is a vul­ner­a­ble area. Evac­uees are most vul­ner­a­ble to be con­vinced and be traf­ficked),” she said.

Acera said they have recorded cases of Over­seas Filipino Work­ers

(OFWs) from Davao re­gion ar­eas pre­vi­ously hit by Ty­phoon Pablo in 2012 who were con­firmed to be traf­ficked and are de­tained in dif­fer­ent coun­tries abroad. She added that last month, DSWD, Task Force Davao and other agen­cies con­ducted aware­ness train­ing to evac­uees from Marawi who are tem­po­rar­ily seek­ing shel­ter in the city.

“Of course in Re­gion 11, the Ia­cat is very ac­tive. We do not have any prob­lem with (co­or­di­na­tion) but for other re­gions, we co­or­di­nate with our regional of­fices in the DSWD, and of course pro­grams be­ing done here are also im­ple­mented in the Au­ton­o­mous Re­gion in Mus­lim Min­danao (Armm), Re­gion 12, Re­gion 10, and all other re­gions all over the Philip­pines. It is ex­pected that sim­i­lar preven­tive ac­tiv­i­ties are be­ing done in their area,” Acera said. She added that they ob­serve re­fer­ral sys­tem in han­dling cases from those who are from other re­gions. KVC

MACKY LIM

BROTHER­HOOD. A fire­fighter sprays wa­ter on his buddy after putting out the fire at Purok 26, Mus­lim Village, Times Beach in Matina, Davao City that razed 50 houses.

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