MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES – IJM has been working with law enforcement in the Philippines to fight sex trafficking since 2001. Building on the expertise developed over the past decade of casework, IJM now regularly spearheads and organizes workshops for Filipino law enforcement officers to equip these men and women who serve as the frontline defense that vulnerable children need.
In October 2013, IJM and the Philippine National Police led a training for about two dozen officers in a specialized police unit, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group's Anti-Transnational Crime Division (CIDG-ATCD). This law enforcement unit is based in Metro Manila and handles transnational crimes, including human trafficking.
The training focused on how to manage and lead anti-trafficking operations and included sessions on the Philippines' recently amended anti-trafficking law, media management skills, and how to ensure affidavits (statements from victims, witnesses and police) include all of the legal elements that will be necessary for a trial.
Just last month, IJM worked on the first joint operation with this police unit to rescue four teens who were being trafficked and sold for sex. During the undercover operation, agents arrested a husband-and-wife duo who are now facing serious trafficking charges of selling minors for sex.
IJM will continue to work closely with police on individual cases, but trainings like the one for CIDG-ACTD empower law enforcement units to proactively investigate and pursue sex trafficking cases throughout the Philippines.