Human trafficking monitored in Davao airport-A A +A
Sunday, September 23, 2012
DAVAO CITY – Illegal operation of traffickers in the Davao International Airport has been monitored, but movement was designed to deflect attention, said an official of the Regional Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (Riacat) in Davao Region.
Regional prosecutor Antonio Arellano, chair of Riacat, said traffickers no longer accompany their victims and even the victims no longer go in groups. They ride the airplane individually and maintain contact with their trafficker through mobile phones.
“So you would not see who is with whom,” he said.
Arellano said cracking down would-be victims being sent abroad is easier because the victims have to pass through the stringent procedures of the Bureau of Immigration.
Domestic trafficking, however, has become more difficult to spot because the victims are told to check-in and board the plane late to evade strict screening of identification documents and tickets, and to avoid mingling with other passengers at the pre-departure area.
Lawyer Nimfa Edroso, officer in charged for airport operations of BI in Davao Region, earlier said they are carefully screening without violating the right to travel of a person.
Arellano said they are monitoring the routes of the traffickers because it is one way of stopping the growth of the supply and demand in human trafficking.
Myrna Dadang, Sidlakan Women Crisis Center head, said most victims of human trafficking come from far-flung areas where opportunities are lacking.
She said aside from providing psycho-social intervention to victims, they also conduct information dissemination to the public to prevent trafficking cases.
The Riacat-Integrated Action Network said there are 16 trafficking cases filed in courts in the region, ten were from Davao City, two from Davao del Sur, two from Digos City and one each from Compostela Valley and Panabo.
Arellano said the group has rescued and intercepted victims mostly in Davao City with 94 persons; five in Xiamen, China; six in Compostela Valley; two in Panabo City; and one in Manila. (Sun.Star Davao)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 24, 2012.