Low conviction rate in trafficking cases bared-A A +A
Friday, July 20, 2012
THE previous cases of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) did not have a good conviction number since most victims cannot be located anymore for the trial.
This was revealed by Regional State Prosecutor Antonio Arellano during the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing with members of Regional Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking-Integrated Action Network - Davao International Airport (Riaction-DIA), July 19.
Arellano said those were the times when victims could hardly be located during the trial of the cases because most of them are not residents of the city and the victims are mostly underprivileged.
Arellano cited that the region have recorded only three convictions of the violation of Republic Act 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) way back from 2003 to 2010.
Arellano said it is the reason why the region has initiated the creation of Regional Interagency Council against Trafficking-Integrated Action Network (Riaction) to designate people for prevention of trafficking, prosecution of the respondents, and protection of the victims.
"It was created to provide a mechanism of integration and coordination, so our work will be coordinated by all these agencies," Arellano said.
Arellano said since the group was created, there were already two convictions in 2011.
For now, Arellano said the victims are in the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) where they are undergoing psycho-social intervention.
As the Riaction-DIA was formally launched Friday morning, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte assured that the City Government will be supportive of the projects and activities in preventing the TIP in the airport.
"I commend the effort of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office and the DSWD for taking the lead in the region to put up the Riaction," Arellano said.
She added the group will also get the Local Government's support in the event it seeks the build up of prevention of trafficking cases at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (Dcott).
Arellano said the creation of the Riaction-DIA is to prevent or at least help minimize the TIP incidents in the airport, which is the ingress and egress of trafficking syndicates.
The team has already built up an assistance desk to cater concerns of believed to be trafficking victims.
Arellano said they have also set up hotline numbers to reach out to victims of human trafficking.
The hotline numbers (082) 330-3058 and 0917-718-55-88 are created to respond and give a hand to possible victims.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 21, 2012.