Manila, June 6, 2018 — The Philippine and U.S. governments recently reaffirmed their mutual commitment to combat human trafficking of adults and children. In a May 22 meeting with U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Michael Klecheski, Acting Philippine Secretary of Justice Menardo I. Guevarra pledged to prioritize the fight against human trafficking, stating “we are committed to doing more on this issue.” Highlighting the progress already made, Mr. Klecheski credited the Philippine government’s leadership that resulted in a Tier 1 ranking in the 2016 and 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Reports.
Both officials also pledged their continued support for the bilateral Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership. This 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 child victims. The U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons committed $3.5 million USD (PhP 175 million) and the Philippine Department of Justice Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons (IACAT) committed approximately $800,000 USD (PhP 40 million) to meet the four-year CPC partnership’s objectives.
The meeting was the culmination of a week of human trafficking-focused engagements between Philippine government, civil society, and visiting U.S. officials on our continued commitment to prevent abuses, protect victims, and prosecute abusers. As Chargé d’Affaires Klecheski emphasized, “We are pleased to partner with the Philippines to fight traffickers and build a better future for vulnerable Filipino children.”