MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Saturday called for increased vigilance against human trafficking, especially in areas that were severely hit by recent disasters like Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.
The call was made as part of the department’s intensified campaign against human trafficking in the Davao region. The DSWD cochairs the national government’s Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (Iacat).
Along with the other Iacat members, the DSWD spearheaded the launch of the 2013 Advocacy Campaign Against Human Trafficking at the NCCC Mall Atrium in Davao City last week.
Based on 2012 DSWD data, there were 1,376 individual victims of various kinds of trafficking nationwide. In the first half of 2013 alone, the DSWD recorded 645 cases, with the victims afforded adequate recovery and reintegration services under the DSWD’s Recovery and Reintegration Programs for Trafficked Persons.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said poverty was one of the root causes of human trafficking.
“In times of crisis, sickness and hunger, families in dire financial need become easy prey for illegal recruiters who promise them lucrative jobs in the major cities or abroad,” Soliman said.
The DSWD urged the public to report instances of trafficking through the DSWD hotline (02) 9319141, the Iacat Action Line 1343 or the Iacat website at iacat.gov.ph.