Susan Ople named to UN panel on human trafficking

FORMER Labor undersecretary and overseas Filipino worker (OFW) advocate Susan Ople became the first Filipino appointed to the Board of Trustees in the United Nations (UN) Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking.

In a statement, the Blas F. Ople Policy Center announced that Ople was informed of her appointment by UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) director general and executive director Ghada Fatha Waly.

"We are very pleased to have a person of your caliber and experience partnering with UNODC in its endeavor top help those who suffer from injustice and violations of their rights,” said Waly as quoted by the Ople Center, which is headed by Ople.

In her response, the daughter of the late Senate president Blas Ople said she was deeply honored and humbled by the vote of confidence from the UNODC and the UN Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking.

"I look forward to making a difference in the lives not only of abused Filipino overseas workers but (also of) victims of slavery and human trafficking of all nationalities across the globe,” Ople said.

The Trust Fund is an integral element of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, and was adopted by the UN General Assembly back in July 2010.

Since its establishment, the Trust Fund has provided direct humanitarian, legal, and financial assistance to thousands of victims, through grassroots non-government organization projects.

The role of the board is to provide strategic guidance on the Fund, to consider proposed projects for financing, and to support efforts to mobilize resources.

Ople joins other members of the board from Belgium, Armenia, Nigeria, and Panama.

Aside from heading the Ople Center, Ople served as labor undersecretary under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)


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