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DSWD assists 10 human trafficking victim-survivors in Laguna

The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Field Office CALABARZON has provided immediate protection and support interventions to 10 victim-survivors of human trafficking who were rescued in the Cities of Biñan and Calamba in Laguna province on May 10 and 16, respectively.

“From the two separate rescue operations by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Human Trafficking Division, we have secured the three victim-survivors of Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) and Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM), who are all minors,” DSWD Assistant Secretary for Disaster Response Management Group Irene Dumlao said on Wednesday (May 22).

During and immediately after the rescue operations, the DSWD ensured that the victim-survivors were provided with psychosocial counseling and referral support for temporary shelter placement.

“The remaining seven victim-survivors were rescued from commercial sexual exploitation,” said Asst. Secretary Dumlao, who is also the agency’s spokesperson.

DSWD social workers are currently handling the case management of the victim-survivors towards their rehabilitation and eventual reintegration into their respective communities.

“The DSWD, as the co-chair of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), condemns this kind of activity. We urge the public to report any human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Let us break the “no touch, no harm” mentality. OSAEC and CSAEM is a form of violence against children and a punishable crime under the law,” the DSWD spokesperson said.

As the lead agency in social protection, the DSWD assists trafficked persons under the Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons (RRPTP).

The RRPTP is a comprehensive program that ensures adequate recovery and reintegration services provided to trafficked persons. Utilizing a multi-sectoral approach, it delivers a complete package of services that will enhance the psychosocial, social, and economic needs of victim-survivors of trafficking.

“The agency is closely coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and NBI to track and apprehend the perpetrators and rescue the victims of this heinous act. In terms of awareness, prevention, and early detection of OSEC cases, we are working with the local government units (LGUs),” Asst. Sec. Dumlao said.

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