Women-survivors of human trafficking

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office has provided livelihood assistance to six women-survivors of human trafficking.

Five of the six beneficiaries were survivors of local human trafficking and one of a cross border trafficking whose recruiter was convicted and jailed in 2010.

The P10,000 assistance per beneficiary was released recently through the DSWD’s Recovery and Reintegration Program for Trafficked Persons.

DSWD Focal Person for Trafficking Ma. Socorro Rojas said the agency’s intervention does not end in rescuing victims from illegal recruiters.

Rojas said the DSWD continuously look into the welfare of the victims from their psychosocial wellness to reintegration into their families and communities.

Rojas said the DSWD provided assistance to the beneficiaries to encourage them to start small-scale businesses and other livelihood activities that will generate income to sustain their daily needs as the agency aimed to empower them.

DSWD records showed that lack of job opportunities or limited employment is one of the main causes why Filipinos easily accede to offers by illegal recruiters, Rojas said.

She said the victims, in most cases, were promised decent jobs with high-paying salaries.

She said that Zamboanga City, with its international airport and sea port, tends to be the most easiest and unpopular exit to Southeast Asian countries.

This prompted the Inter-agency groups such as the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Trafficking (RIACAT) and Sea-Based Anti-Trafficking Task Force (SBATTF) ensure regular monitoring of airport and seaports to include bus terminals in this city.

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