DSWD holds training-seminar for human trafficking victims

CALASIAO, Pangasinan, May 26 (PIA)– The ordeal of victims of human trafficking does not end with their return to their families.

This is essentially the issue that the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was trying to address in the three-day Training on the Psychosocial Recovery, Social and Economic Reintegration for Trafficked Persons held at the Regency Hotel this town from May 23 to 25.

Participants to the training included social workers, health workers, police and legal officers from Region 1.

The training intended to teach the participants the proper way of assessing traffic cases, handling victims during psychosocial recovery process, and making referrals to concerned government agencies.

Trafficked persons, who are mostly from the poor sector, usually end up as sex workers, forced laborers, slaves or might even be forced to join in armed conflicts.

The victims, according DSWD Region 1 Technical Assistance Division Chief Anniely J. Ferrer, cannot usually live the way they did when they return home for fear of embarrassment.

“Sometimes, the victims of human trafficking are disowned by their families. Husbands refuse to live with their wives anymore, particularly if their wives have been sexually exploited,” she said.

The families of the victims, particularly if the victim is male, end up poorer than before they were trafficked, she added.

Also introduced during the training was the ‘Referral System for the Recovery and Reintegration of Trafficked Persons,’ which is a network of government agencies and non-government organizations that provides logistics for the monitoring, assessment and prevention of human trafficking as well as the provision of assistance to trafficked persons.

Assistance comes in the form of legal, psychological, and financial ones.

Legal assistance includes providing legal consultation for the prosecution of human traffickers and transportation and lodging allowances for witnesses.

Financial assistance, meanwhile, may come in the form of P100 daily subsidy for 45 days while the victim is searching for a job; P3,000 tuition fee for skills training, including the same 45-day subsidy; or P10,000 for livelihood.

Psychosocial recovery assistance, on the other hand, involves subjecting the victims to psychological therapy as well as their families to counselling.

Victims should make full recovery with this assistance within a year, according to Ferrer.

Most Filipinos being trafficked land in Malaysia as forced laborers in plantation there. This comprises more than 30 percent of the total number of Filipinos trafficked worldwide, according to the DSWD. (JCR/ARRF-PIA 1 Pangasinan)

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