By Marita Moaje

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Department of Migrant Workers has partnered with a North American non-government organization (NGO) to help combat the growing concerns of human trafficking and help the victims at the same time.

In a news release on Wednesday, DMW Officer-in-Charge Undersecretary Hans Leo Cacdac said Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez signed the Memorandum of Collaborative Agreement (MCA) on behalf of the department, with Polaris Project Chief Executive Officer Catherine Chan.

The MCA outlines the framework for a comprehensive service that will aid victims of human trafficking in recovery, legal advocacy, repatriation, and community reintegration.

Cacdac said the partnership with Polaris Project follows the directives of former DMW Secretary Susan Ople, and shows the agency’s commitment to eradicating human trafficking.

“This alliance not only amplifies our anti-human trafficking initiatives but also fosters cooperation with both governmental and non-governmental entities,” he said.

As part of the collaboration, Cacdac said the DMW pledges to provide shelter and repatriation support, alongside legal aid for Filipinos embroiled in trafficking-related legal battles.

The DMW will also spearhead the reporting process to the Philippine Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) to ensure the prosecution of those implicated in trafficking activities.

The DMW will work closely with the Philippine Embassy’s Consular Section to facilitate the documentation processes for survivors and victims of human trafficking, including passport renewals, extensions, and the issuance of travel documents.

Meanwhile, Polaris Project “commits to extending all necessary assistance to Filipino victims referred through their National Human Trafficking Hotline, particularly in the evaluation of human trafficking cases and other forms of exploitation committed against Filipino nationals.”

The Polaris Project is a non-profit NGO in North America that aims to combat human trafficking and modern-day slavery and strengthen the anti-trafficking movement through a comprehensive approach.

It is known for spearheading a movement centered on survivor welfare, justice, and equality, and administers the United States National Human Trafficking Hotline that helps survivors receive essential support and have access to services.

It also helps ensure that traffickers face legal consequences. (PNA)