As part of the efforts to strengthen the enabling environment to improve response to cases of anti-trafficking of persons and related casesin Eastern Visayas, an anti-trafficking in persons local technical working group/ local project consultation meeting will be conducted on January 7, 2008 at 9:00 o'clock in the morning at the Leyte Park Resort Hotel in Tacloban City.
The consultations meeting is being conducted by the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (Solidarity Center) and its various partners under the STEER project under the funding from a grant provided by the US Department of State.
In Eastern Visayas, the Project will build on earlier local and national initiatives in the fight against trafficking by strengthening the enabling environment and improving the implementation of the country's anti-trafficking legislation.
Mr. Cedric R. Bagtas, project consultant and coordinator, said that the project hopes to improve the capacity of government, NGOs and community-support groups at the national and local levels to generate reliable, on-the-ground information and maintain a centralized database on trafficking and related cases including their status.
The project will also strengthen the cooperation among government entities, trade unions and other NGOs in destination and sources communities in monitoring trafficking in persons complaints and cases, documentation and case build-up, and take action including rescue, repatriation and rehabilitation of trafficking victims.
Mr. Bagtas added that proposed project interventions are particularly focused in the fourteen source and receiving communities which include National Capital Region, Laguna, Cavite, Bataan, Subic, Surigao, Leyte/Samar, Cebu, Davao, General Santos city Cagayan de Oro City, cotabato City, Negros and Bohol and selected destination countries.
The consultation meeting, Mr. Bagtas revealed, aims to view the accomplishments of USAID/Solidarity Center Anti-Trafficking Project 2 and to present and discuss the terms and reference of the STEER Project.
Furthermore, the meeting aims to share developments in agencies' current anti-trafficking interventions, programs and activities; explore further areas of cooperation among participating groups and government agencies in implementing the series of activities; and to validate directions and develop the network's plans vis-a-vis project indicators.
Through this follow up, Mr. Bagtas said that the Project wish to renew earlier partnership and explore possible ways on how the coordinating groups could work together towards the effective implementation of Anti-Trafficking Law and regulations in the Region.
Adapted from: "Consultations in Region 8 tackle strategies to improve response to trafficking in persons." Information Agency. 6 January 2008.
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