Official press release from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs titled “PH Shines Spotlight on Trafficking Issues at the UN”:
NEW YORK 01 October 2018 – The Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York organized a panel discussion entitled “Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Ending Trafficking in Women and Girls” at the UN headquarters in New York on 20 September 2018.
Former Executive Director of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons (IACAT) Attorney Darlene Pajarito discussed her experiences in combating trafficking against persons in the Philippines.
She highlighted that the Philippines achieved Tier 1 status in the US Trafficking in Persons Report because of sustained efforts on prevention, prosecution, protection and partnership with regard to trafficking in persons.
Shandra Woworuntu, a sex trafficking survivor from Indonesia, and Marlyn Bantoc, a labor trafficking survivor from the Philippines, shared their personal experiences as trafficking victims and called on Governments to strengthen efforts to fight trafficking. They also made recommendations on approaches and priorities to support survivors’ recovery and re-integration into society.
UN Women of the Ending Violence Against Women Section Chief of Kalliopi Meguirou discussed how achieving the Sustainable Development Goals can have a positive impact on the fight against trafficking in women and girls. She noted the use of technology in deceiving women and girls into trafficking, but also outlined ways on how technology may be utilized to identify and prosecute traffickers.
Simone Monasebian, Director of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime in New York, moderated the very emotional event.
UN Women and UN Office of Drugs and Crime co-sponsored the event. END
Atty. Darlene Pajarito is a 2018 Hubert H. Humphrey fellow. She is currently studying Human Trafficking, Policy and Prevention at The American University in Washington, DC. She is the Assistant City Prosecutor for the Philippine Department of Justice. She has served as part of the Philippine Delegation to the Expert Working Group during the drafting of the ASEAN Convention on Trafficking In Persons (ACTIP), the ASEAN Plan of Action on Women and Children (APA) and the Bohol Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Work Plan.
As of the moment, she is the Philippine National TIP Specialist and is considered one of the staunchest anti-trafficking advocates in the country. She helped secure the Philippine’s first sex trafficking conviction in 2005 and the second labor trafficking conviction in 2011. As a prosecutor for the last 14 years, she has successfully secured six human trafficking convictions.
From July of 2015 to February of 2018, Pajarito has served as the Executive Director of the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT) Secretariat and was instrumental in the development and implementation of IACAT’s several policies and programs on partnership, prevention, protection of victims, investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of TIP cases. She was recognized as a “Hero Acting to End Modern Day Slavery” by former US Secretary of State Hilary R. Clinton.