Thursday, July 29, 2010

Plan proposes means to stop human trafficking

Lawmakers and civil society groups have agreed on proposals to change laws and intensify action on human trafficking from the Philippines.

The proposals came at a July 22 dialogue on human trafficking between civil society and leaders in government held in Manila.

Officials, legislators and civic leaders, including members of Laura Vicuna Foundation of the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco, and the Center for Overseas Workers of the Religious of the Good Shepherd listened to survivors of human trafficking operations, and the lawyer who prosecuted the first human trafficking case tried in the country.

In 2005, Darlene Pajarito, Assistant City Prosecutor of Zamboanga City, successfully prosecuted three members of a syndicate who were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment with a fine of 2 million pesos (US$43,000) for trafficking.

Pajarito moved for the inclusion of a legal “rape shield” as one of the amendments of the law to protect complainants. Currently, the anti-trafficking law allows defense lawyers to cross-examine complainants on their alleged “loose morals.

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