From top left: Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, H.E. Amb. Antonio M. Lagdameo delivers Opening Remarks; DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Eduardo A. de Vega gives a video message on the Philippine Government’s policies and efforts to combat human trafficking; The speakers and moderator of the commemorative event)
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, 01 August 2023 — The Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York, in collaboration with the Missions of Belarus and the Dominican Republic, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Women organized the event “Reach Every Victim, Leave No One Behind” to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
H.E. Antonio M. Lagdameo, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN, delivered the Opening Remarks, highlighting the importance of partnering with victims and survivors and their organizations and learning from their lived experiences to inform effective policy-making and strengthen the implementation of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
“We acknowledge the need to incorporate the perspectives and experiences of survivors in all efforts to prevent and combat trafficking in persons and aim to actively involve victims of trafficking in persons in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating our anti-trafficking efforts,” stressed Ambassador Lagdameo.
DFA Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Eduardo A. de Vega, as panelist, expressed the Philippines’ unwavering commitment to combat trafficking in persons through a comprehensive whole-of-society approach. He shared that despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the Philippines continued its anti-trafficking efforts, conducting various programs to address the issue. These programs include webinars at the village level to raise awareness about human trafficking and how to report such cases; learning sessions on anti-trafficking initiatives in public procurement policy and supply chain management; programs to protect fisherfolk from COVID-19 and trafficking in the fishing industry; community education programs for prospective migrants; and awareness-raising activities to combat online sexual exploitation of children.
“We call on Member States, UN entities and stakeholders to work together to end human trafficking, including through the frameworks provided by the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Global Compact for Migration,” said Undersecretary de Vega.
The Executive Director of UNODC, Ms. Ghada Waly delivered a statement, stressing the need to step up the efforts to reach every trafficking victim, by strengthening detection, investigating cases, prosecuting the criminals involved, and proactively identifying, assisting, and supporting survivors of trafficking.
The event also featured powerful statements from survivors, namely Ms. Melanie Thompson, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator at the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women; and Ms. Marti McGibbon, President of Mentari.
The commemoration this year marks twenty (20) years since the Palermo Protocol entered into force and ten (10) years since the General Assembly resolution proclaimed July 30 as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. END.