Issues on human rights and human trafficking dominated the discussion during the fourth and last Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Panglao as the Philippines also handed over the chairmanship to Singapore.
The issue of human trafficking is a huge one not just in the Philippines but also in other countries in ASEAN such as Malaysia and Cambodia.
At least 200 delegates from various countries from the ASEAN region gathered for the 25th ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) annual meeting at Hennan Resort that ended on Thursday.
Trafficking in Persons (TIP) has been a huge issue and a prevailing one at that among the 10-nation regional group, which is more pronounced in developing countries such as the Philippines.
Last Monday, the delegates gathered to mold measures against TIP and boosted the information campaign on human trafficking, in a way, as form of crackdown on the crime which has grown rampant in several countries in ASEAN for the past years.
A delegate told stories about parents selling children’s organs for money.
Another delegate shared the sad plight of women who ended up in the flesh trade via human trafficking.
Leo Herrera-Lim Philippine’s representative to the intergovernmental body chaired the AICHR’s annual meeting, the fourth ASEAN conference conducted in Bohol.
Some leaders made a strong clamor to expand AICHR’s relevance in human rights protection emerged amid growing concerns of human rights violations within the regional bloc.