The Philippine Government is stepping up efforts to ensure that those who will take advantage of the vulnerability and desperation of survivors of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), by illegally recruiting or trafficking them for exploitative purposes, will face the full force of the law.
This is part of the overarching campaign of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to prevent all human trafficking and illegal recruitment activities in the calamity-affected areas, exit and entry points of evacuees or survivors, in the various evacuation and survivor processing centers.
The IACAT had strengthened its programs to protect victims of calamities in the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo (Bopha). Now, amid the devastation caused by the earthquake in Central Visayas and Typhoon Yolanda, an LACAT Task Force is putting in place all necessary coordination mechanisms and protocols to further bolster the existing anti-human trafficking strategies in view of the heightened vulnerability of survivors from the affected areas.
Representatives from key IACAT member agencies and critical partners, namely, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Labor and Employment, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Council for the Welfare of Children and the Commission on Filipino Overseas form this IACAT Task Force.
The IACAT will redouble its efforts to ensure that the security and dignity of our men, women and children devastated by calamities will be fully protected while the nation helps them rebuild their lives and communities.
All the additional protective and preventive measures will be done in cooperation with the Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Ports Authority, Bureau of Immigration, the IACAT Regional Taskforces, the various local government units in the affected areas, as well as with various civil society organizations, NGOs and international humanitarian organizations.