The US Embassy in Manila recently announced that the Philippine ranking was upgraded to Tier 1 as a direct result of efforts by the Philippine government to eliminate human trafficking.
On June 30, the embassy said, US Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which provides the most comprehensive information on government efforts around the world to combat modern slavery.
A Tier 1 ranking indicates that a government has acknowledged the existence of human trafficking, made efforts to address the problem and complies with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
“This year’s Tier 1 ranking is an accurate reflection of the commitment of the Philippine government to prosecute trafficking cases, protect victims, and prevent future human trafficking during the April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 reporting period,” the US Embassy said in a statement.
The Philippines, according to the statement, is a source country and, to a much lesser extent, a destination and transit country for men, women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.
The US government, it said, recognizes the efforts of the Philippine government to bring justice to victims and expedite prosecutions.
During the reporting period, the Philippines convicted 42 traffickers, including five for online child sex trafficking and two for forced labor.
The entire 2016TIP Report is available via http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/index.htm and on the US Embassy’s web site at http://philippines.usembassy.gov.