[Stop-traffic] News/PHILIPPINES: ASEAN TAKES STANDVS HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/PHILIPPINES: ASEAN TAKES STANDVS HUMAN TRAFFICKING.
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Oct 24 2000 - 12:04:35 EDT


10-18-00 PHILIPPINES: ASEAN TAKES STANDVS HUMAN TRAFFICKING.
By JUN RAMIREZ.
Immigration chiefs sign Davao accord

Immigration chiefs from the 10 member countries of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) came out yesterday with a unified stand
against the widespread and lucrative market of trafficking of women and
children.
Immigration chiefs from the 10 membercountries of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) came out yesterday with a unified stand
against the widespread and lucrative market of trafficking of women and
children.
The agreement was announced at the close of the fourth meeting of ASEAN
Directors-General of Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Affairs
Divisions of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (DGICM) which ended at the
Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.
The meeting, chaired by Immigration Commissioner Rufus Rodriguez, also came
out with new policies to improve the treatment of migrant workers.
Rodriguez also disclosed that the DGICM will continue to discuss proposals
on the use of a common ASEAN entry visa for tourists coming to ASEAN
countries and the use of a smart card to facilitate travel within the
region.
Rodriguez explained that much of their discussions centered on the problem
of human trafficking in the region as he revealed that roughly 30,000 of
the 40,000 persons being brought illegally to the United States every year
come from ASEAN.
He added that a sizeable portion of the estimated one million women
prostitutes and child laborers being shipped to different countries also
come from ASEAN.
In the joint press statement after the meeting, the delegates said they
approved an action plan which will enhance and streamline regionwide
immigration procedures to facilitate intra-ASEAN commerce, tourism and
travel.
They said the action plan seeks to forge and strengthen ASEAN cooperation
in establishing an effective network to promote the modernization of
immigration facilities, systems and operations; upgrade human resources;
and bolster the capacities of immigration authorities in the region to
fight transactional crimes especially human trafficking.
Gary Mendoza, the meeting vice chair, said the delegates also approved an
institutional framework for ASEAN cooperation on immigration matters, which
makes the DGICM as the highest policy making body on immigration issues and
concerns affecting the region.
Mendoza said the delegates agreed to continue meeting at least once a year
with the DGICM chairmanship rotating among the immigration chiefs from the
ASEAN countries.
An ASEAN Directory of Immigration Focal Points, which identifies the key
office holders in the immigration departments of ASEAN countries was also
adopted during the conference.
The delegates further agreed to study measures to stop irregular migration
and trafficking of persons, especially women and children.
They will meet again next year for their fifth DGICM in Singapore.
(c) Copyright 2000 Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.
MANILA BULLETIN 18/10/2000
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