Duterte OKs law strengthening anti-human trafficking law
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure that aims to strengthen the country’s law against human trafficking.
Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11862 on June 23, but it was released to the media on Tuesday.
The new law, which amends the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, gives law enforcers additional tools for pursuing human traffickers, especially where the breaches entail internet and digital media use.
It makes accountable internet intermediaries, including social media networks, banking, and e-commerce intermediates, which knowingly allow their infrastructure to be used for acts of trafficking of victims.
The new law also prohibits tampering with passports, birth documents, and travel authorizations, which aims to combat human trafficking.
It also introduces “additional aggravating circumstances,” such as when the crime is committed during a crisis, a public health concern, this includes a pandemic, a disaster, a humanitarian conflict or emergency, or when the trafficked person is a survivor of the same to punish offenders who prey on the victims’ vulnerability and unfavorable circumstances.
The measure also increased the duties of local government units in providing recovery and reintegration support to trafficked persons and their families.
Under the new law, government agencies are tasked to investigate and conduct intelligence gathering, including surveillance on a human trafficking suspect, within 10 days after receiving a report.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.