Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Friday urged leaders of Southeast Asian countries to work together to put an end to human trafficking in the region.
In his speech before the 8th Manila International Dialogue on Human Trafficking (The Dialogues) held at the New Coast Hotel Manila, Remulla stressed that southeast Asian counties share a common trafficking in persons (TIP) reality as source, destination and transit countries and are connected as a region.
“This means that successes in one affects the others,” Remulla told leaders and participants from various countries in Southeast Asia.
The Dialogues is a platform for continuing conversations on trafficking in persons (TIPs) participated in by various local and international organizations, government agencies, and foreign missions.
The Dialogues was borne out of the Manila Declaration to Enhance International Cooperation to Combat Trafficking in Persons, signed by 19 foreign governments and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) for the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, as well as multilateral and other international and local civil society organizations.
Remulla emphasized that TIP is not only a crime but a major human rights violation that crosses borders “and it is our common and shared responsibility to end it.”
The DOJ chief recalled recent successful rescue operations involving victims of human trafficking through coordination and cooperation with the Royal Malaysia Police, Royal Thai Police and the Philippine National Police. In those cases, the victims were provided ample protection and were repatriated back to their home countries.
“If we national mandate holders can work together the way the Royal Malaysia Police, the Royal Thai Police and the Philippine National Police proactively, harmoniously and efficiently work together through available channels both formal and informal, I am confident that we can make progress and put an end to human trafficking,” Remulla said.