U.S.-Philippines High-Level Dialogue Marks Progress in Combating Child Trafficking

Manila, November 15, 2018 — Senior U.S. and Philippine officials conducted a high-level dialogue on November 6 to mark progress and outline next steps in the four-year U.S.-Philippines Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership.  The dialogue centered on assessing progress toward achieving the CPC Partnership’s goals of improving the government’s capacity to investigate and prosecute cases of online sexual exploitation of children, identifying and responding to child labor trafficking, providing comprehensive services to protect child trafficking victims, and preventing future trafficking crimes.

At the dialogue, Philippine Secretary of Justice Menardo I. Guevarra underscored that the joint efforts are key to protecting children.  “We are committed to this shared objective – to ensure these forms of trafficking are minimized, if not altogether eliminated in the Philippines,” he said.  Emphasizing the U.S. commitment, the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) Principal Deputy Director Dr. Kari Johnstone said, “We are pleased to continue working cooperatively with the government of the Philippines to improve efforts to address child trafficking.”

The CPC Partnership, signed by the two governments on April 11, 2017, strengthens response efforts to two types of child trafficking – the sexual exploitation of children online and child labor trafficking – through a victim-centered approach to prosecuting traffickers and ensuring specialized services for victims.  The U.S. State Department’s TIP Office committed Php175 million ($3.5 million) and the Philippine Department of Justice Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons approximately Php40 million ($800,000) to meet these objectives.  Programming is implemented by partner organizations International Justice Mission and the Salvation Army.  To date under the CPC, International Justice Mission has successfully rescued 90 child victims of online sexual exploitation and facilitated the arrests of 36 perpetrators of trafficking crimes, while the Salvation Army has trained more than 100 social workers on victim-centered care.