New law strengthens conduct against human trafficking – CHR – Manila Bulletin

Human Rights Commission (CHR)

The government’s campaign against all forms of human trafficking, whether for labor or sexual exploitation, is now strengthened with the passage of Republic Act No. 11862, the expanded law against trafficking in persons, said the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

CHR executive director Jacqueline Ann de Guia said RA 11862 offers a “crucial and welcome provision” as it makes internet intermediaries such as social media platforms, banks and e-commerce liable if they knowingly or grossly negligently allow the use of their facilities to promote trafficking.

“With the legislation in place, the process of resolving cases will be accelerated,” said De Guia, a lawyer.

“Law enforcement is mandated to conduct an intelligence gathering and anti-trafficking investigation within 10 days of receiving a report, statement or affidavit,” it said. she declared.

She noted that government authorities can intercept the communications of an individual suspected or accused of committing the crime.

But she stressed that there should be a written order from a court and that this requirement can only be waived if the victim is a child and the crime involves the use of computer systems and digital platforms.

With the new legislation, there are also heavier penalties when the crime is committed during a crisis or disaster, a public health issue such as a pandemic, humanitarian conflict, emergency, or when the victim of the trafficking is a disaster survivor or a human being. induced conflict, she pointed out.

Citing data obtained from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), De Guia said most of the people the CDH has helped were victims of labor trafficking, followed by sex trafficking, then sex trafficking. online sexual exploitation and armed conflict.

She said the number of victims increased during government-mandated shutdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) even reported that there were around 2.8 million. complaints of online child sexual exploitation in 2021.

“The CHR welcomes the government’s efforts to put in place stronger and more effective mechanisms to protect the rights and lives of marginalized sectors, especially women and children, as they are the most vulnerable to human trafficking. said De Guia.

“As stewards, we support implementing agencies to ensure greater shared responsibility to end this method of exploitation and abuse,” she added.

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