The Philippines’ compliance with anti-human trafficking international standards might be welcome “but we shouldn’t become complacent,” a Church official said, according to CBCP News.
Quite simply, said Father Resty Ogsimer of the bishops’ Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, the fight against human trafficking is far from over.
For the third year in a row, the Philippines in 2019 has maintained its highest status in compliance with the US standards to combat the “modern-day slavery”.
“Even if we retained our Tier 1 ranking in the human trafficking index, this should not be a reason for celebration,” he said.
Some 784,000 people are estimated to be trapped in modern slavery in the Philippines, according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index by the Walk Free Foundation.
“There are still many victims of human trafficking in the Philippines,” said Fr. Ogsimer.
The priest was speaking in his homily during Mass for the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking at the CBCP chapel in Manila on Friday.
The Mass was held to mark the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, who is the patron saint of human trafficking and slavery victims.
Fr. Ogsimer also discussed the importance of raising awareness about human trafficking through education and training, particularly within the Church.
He said that the CBCP is working closely with various organizations that are helping fight the “plague”.
“When we gather in movements like this, it’s actually an awareness campaign for us to be educated,” Fr. Ogsimer said.