Expanded law to boost gov’t fight vs. human trafficking

By Wilnard Bacelonia

June 29, 2022, 2:01 pm

MANILA – Senators on Wednesday said Republic Act 11862 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act signed recently by President Rodrigo Duterte will boost the government campaign against human trafficking.

Senator Imee Marcos, principal author of the measure in the Senate, thanked President Duterte for signing the new law, vowing to pass more economic measures in the incoming 19th Congress.

"Salamat PRRD sa pagsuporta sa layunin ng batas na ito na mas maproteksyonan ang ating mga kababayan mula sa mapangahas at talamak na pangangalakal ng tao (Thank you PRRD in supporting the purpose of this law which is to protect our people from outrageous and continuing human trafficking)," Marcos said in a social media post.

As a co-sponsor of the bill, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also welcomed the signing of RA 11862, stressing the importance of giving law enforcers additional tools in running after human traffickers.

"This is also an important step forward in protecting our children, who are among the most vulnerable to human trafficking,” Gatchalian said in a statement.

Gatchalian said the expanded law now also covers illegal adoptions, child laundering, and online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

Senator Risa Hontiveros described RA 11862 as an important and much-needed victory for women, children, and all victims of human trafficking.

"One significant reform under this law is the greater accountability imposed on internet intermediaries for human trafficking activities using their services. Entities like social media companies or internet providers may no longer turn a blind eye to the trafficking of persons being done on their watch,” she said.

Hontiveros, a Senate minority member, said the new law also introduces “stronger mechanisms against labor trafficking, and expanded protections for human trafficking victims - particularly women and girls.”

"I dedicate this triumph to the women and minors who bravely shared with the public their ordeal as human trafficking survivors during the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality hearings on the ‘pastillas’ scam and the human trafficking rings in the Middle East. Their courage and sense of justice made this new law possible," she added. (PNA)