Human trafficking cases expected to go up in 3rd quarter

Human trafficking cases are expected to increase in the last quarter of 2017 with recruiters expected to take advantage of the Christmas season celebration, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

“As of September 2017 there were already 112 (victims) but 50 percent of this is a carry-over from the previous year,”said Alma D. Acerna, regional sectary of the DSWD’s Led-Interagency Council at the iSpeak media forum on Thursday.

She warned the figure is expected rise this December since people coming from far-flung areas are prone to recruitment by traffickers.

“People from far areas are coming to the city during December and the recruiters are taking advantage, in offering them jobs,” said Acerna. Due to the monetary need of those people to celebrate Christmas, majority of them are enticed to take the opportunity only to end up as victims of human trafficking.

The Davao region averages between 100-130 cases of human trafficking cases per year.

Acerna said the council is expecting to record 130 cases by year-end.

“ Not only are we looking into the rise of  trafficking cases but also on suspected and possible human trafficking cases based on our checklist,” said Acera.

Based on council’ records, the youngest victim of human trafficking was a one year old who was involved in a case of illegal adoption.

Assistant regional prosecutor Ritzel R. Polinar of the Department of Justice revealed that from January to September 2017,  there were 109 filed cases under human trafficking.

He said 17 of which were dismissed, 15 were convicted, 13 were archived, 5 withdrawn, 46 are active and 13 ended up in acquittals.

The convicted cases are comprised of the 14 cases of sexual exploitation and one case of labor exploitation. Foreigners take up a big percentage of the number of suspects convicted.