Ople pushes for changes to Anti-Trafficking Act

Bonjour. Mabuhay.

I think tama itong idea ni Ople.

We need more people pushing for this.

The executive director of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, a non-profit organization that assists distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs),  is pushing for amendments to the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, specifically to remove the provision protecting the identity of illegal recruiters.

On ANC’s Headstart, Susan Ople said they want to remove the section that protects illegal recruiters’ idenity, which makes it harder ro expose them to potential victims.

She expressed hope that once the Anti-Trafficking Act is amended, the law would protect Filipinos who are seeking to work overseas.

Ople added that human trafficking must be stopped while the victims are still being recruited.

“What’s sad is we rely on the immigration as the last sentinel when it should be on the prevention side, at the barangays. The barangay captain should know sino umiikot dito, nagrerecruit,” she said.

She likened illegal recruitment to multi-level marketing, where people get commissions for recruiting workers.

“You have a foreign agency that is bypassing the POEA to cut down on costs. They look for scouts, who refer women to a ‘mother recruiter’ here, so they get paid per head. The women are sent abroad, mostly through the backdoor,” she explained.

Ople hailed the case of 2 Filipinas who recently won in a landmark case against an abusive Singaporean recruiter in Malaysia.

But she noted the fight against human trafficking is still a long battle, and the government needs to address this, especially the country’s high unemployment rate.

Ople said she has interviewed many women who have sought jobs abroad as domestic workers.

“I try as much as possible to interview those who have been repatriated from Syria, Jordan, even from Malaysia and I asked them bakit kayo? Anong ginagawa ng husbands niyo or sons niyo? Lalo na for those with babies, young children, they would tell me at a certain age sa atin, mahirap makakuha ng job yung lalaki and to keep it. So its the women because of the domestic worker market overseas. They’re the ones sent or by their own volition try to find work as DH,” she said.

One of the problems is unemployment, Ople noted.

“The problem is the scale. It’s really the unemployment figures. They tell a different story, even if we say the economy’s growing. The time it takes to cascade all these gains not even the poorest of the poor, or middle-class, it’s so slow. Then you have these sweet-talking recruiters. Wala naman silang puhunan. Ginagamit lang nila promise of a better life attached to a passport so that you can use to escape,” she said. http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/04/09/12/ople-pushes-changes-anti-trafficking-act


Ano sa tinging mo?


Best regards to everyone. Hope you had a great Lenten break.



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