Monday, May 18, 2015

Actor campaigns against human trafficking

DAVAO CITY, May 18 (PIA) – A Davao-based foundation advocating for the prevention of human trafficking obtained the support of actor Aljur Abrenica who staged a mini concert over the weekend to bring awareness especially among the youth on the so-called modern day slavery.

Abrenica, known as a GMA TV network artist, entertained mostly a crowd of young Dabawenyos during the Freedom! Philippines Concert for a Cause which Global Impact Philippines Foundation organized last Saturday, May 15 at the Matina Town Square (MTS), Davao City.

“As an artist, I want to do my part. I want to help, especially the women (to be prevented from being victimized by human trafficking),” the actor stated during a press conference prior to the mini concert.

He said the case of Mary Jane Veloso, who was nearly executed in Indonesia for allegedly smuggling an illegal drug, was a realization for the showbiz personality to take action by taking part in the awareness raising campaigns.

From the experience of Veloso who apparently was a victim of trafficking, the actor has a message to the public, “Huwag masyadong magtiwala, kahit sa mga kaibigan, karelasyon, kamag-anak o kapitbahay. You must be aware of what’s happening around your family to prevent from being victimized.”
Abrenica said he also wanted to bring the advocacy in the entertainment industry and to urge his fellow artists to become advocates themselves.

Global Impact, headed by founding director Amy Muranko-Gahan, is a member of the advocacy group of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking Region XI Network (IACAT-XI Network).

Its Freedom! Philippines campaign in Davao City started in 2014, aiming to eradicate child trafficking and human trafficking through implementing community-based awareness activities including documentary film showing, drama and dance presentations, and youth children’s prevention camps.

At the recent 2015 Palarong Pambansa held at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City, Global Impact brought singer Christian Bautista who performed during the advocacy night against trafficking at the Tourism Village.

The foundation is actively partnering with IACAT-XI Network for the latter’s intensified awareness and education drive in the barangays especially in high risk communities where most of the vulnerable sectors, the women and children, are being deceived by traffickers.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, human trafficking or trafficking in persons is an “act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving a person through the use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them.”

Types of trafficking include forced prostitution and sexual exploitation, forced domestic servitude, mistreated labor workers, forced to be a beggar or thief, forced to sell drugs or drug running and organ trafficking.

Global Impact and IACAT-XI network urged the public to report any trafficking incident through the network’s hotline numbers 0917-7185588 or (082) 330-3058, or through the Freedom! Philippines app through Google Play or Itunes. (PIA-XI/Carina L. Cayon)

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