Philippine Embassy, Canberra
1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
www.philembassy.org.au *Tel. No. 02-6273-2535*
Philippines highlights new legislations against trafficking in persons and online sexual exploitation of children in Bali Process Ministerial in Adelaide
13 February, ADELAIDE – Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega underscored the importance of further cooperation of government and the private sector in advancing the role of technology as a positive force in addressing people smuggling and trafficking in persons at the 8th Bali Process Ministerial Conference held on 10 February in Adelaide, South Australia.
Australian Foreign Minister Senator the Hon Penny Wong and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi co-chaired the conference attended by the 49 Bali Process member countries and international agencies. The Philippines places the highest priority on the issue of trafficking in persons and has established a robust policy and enforcement framework to protect its nationals against trafficking.
The Ambassador informed the meeting of the passage in 2022 of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children Act in the Philippines in response to the use of digital and online methods to carry-out trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children. Internet intermediaries who “knowingly or by gross negligence allow their internet infrastructure to be used for the purpose of promoting trafficking in persons” are now legally liable in the Philippines under the expanded anti-trafficking law. Financial intermediaries such as banks, credit card companies and money transfer centers will also have increased accountability.
Recognizing the current challenges with the rise in the number of trafficking cases that are linked to online cryptocurrency enterprises with abusive working conditions, the Ambassador urged the Bali Process members to cooperate on effective data-sharing, cross-border management, online surveillance, prompt investigations and case build-up, and awareness campaigns on these recruitment schemes.
The Philippine delegation was led by the Ambassador and Assistant Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Migrant Workers Affairs Paul Raymund Cortes. -- END