A group of Catholics and evangelicals in the Philippines has challenged President Rodrigo Duterte to end human trafficking by stamping out corruption by state officials. Source: UCA News.
The Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking, also known as Pimaht, held an online seminar on Saturday 31 to commemorate World Day Against Trafficking in Human Persons.
The group, formed in 2012, is composed of the three largest Christian organisations in the Philippines – the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the National Council of Churches and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches.
It challenged Mr Duterte to ramp up the fight against human trafficking by firing corrupt officials who they claim receive bribes from human traffickers.
“We need to intensify our campaign against this [human trafficking] modern slavery by addressing its root causes. People are poor, yes, but human traffickers give money to corrupt officials for protection. President Duterte must fire them from their posts,” the interfaith group said during the seminar.
Pimaht saw human trafficking not “only” as an issue of poverty but of corruption, giving syndicates the courage to prey on young people.
When government officials are corrupt, they turn a blind eye to syndicates who abuse minors
“There’s a need to look at the economic angle. But more than poverty, human trafficking is an issue of corruption. When government officials are corrupt, they turn a blind eye to syndicates who abuse minors,” the group added.
The government recently claimed the Philippines has met the “minimum standards” in efforts to eliminate the crime despite reporting a rise in trafficking cases.
Christian group slates Duterte over human trafficking (By Joseph Peter Calleja, UCA News)