News/Philippines: Philippines gets support to combat smuggling in

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Subject: News/Philippines: Philippines gets support to combat smuggling in
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Mon Nov 29 1999 - 09:26:57 EST


         Philippines gets support to combat smuggling in hu...

   MANILA, Nov. 29 (Kyodo) -- The Philippines has won the support of 19
Asia-Pacific countries to establish a regional center to combat human
trafficking, the Bureau of Immigration said Monday.
   Immigration Commissioner Rufus Rodriguez said Asia-Pacific governments,
during a U.N.-sponsored conference on international migration in Bangkok,
agreed on the necessity for a regional center.
   Rodriguez said the proposal to set up a center was made last April, but
it is only now that other countries have formally expressed support.
   He said participating countries agreed to set up a secretariat in
Bangkok to gather information regarding operations of syndicates involved
in human smuggling and that the participating countries are expected to
enter into agreements to facilitate the arrest and prosecution of those
involved in human smuggling.
   Rodriguez said this is a major accomplishment for the Philippines, which
is often used by international syndicates as a transit point for smuggling
people into the United States and Canada.
   The project will also involve Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia,
China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar,
New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Thailand.
   The regional center will "pool all resources of the participating
countries in combating syndicates behind human smuggling and trafficking
activities in the region," Rodriguez said.
   He said the project is better than a similar initiative of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations, where human smuggling victims often
originate, since it will have the participation of receiving countries as
well.

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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