Speech by Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas
Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO)


Good morning, on behalf of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and the Advocacy and Communications Committee of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking  (IACAT-ADVOCOM), I would like to thank the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP) for this  opportunity to be  part of another worthy advocacy,   this time against child pornography.

We cannot deny the fact that human trafficking preys on everyone but the most vulnerable are our children. Online child pornography has become a notoriously popular  business of  human  traffickers where they can conveniently recruit their victims  and transact their nefarious business using the internet.

What makes this crime even more heart-breaking  is that parents and other members of the family are often involved  who sell and use their children as a source of income or to pay their debts.  The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child provides that a state party including the Philippines as one of the signatories should recognize that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. Thus, child trafficking can be the worst form of crime because it grossly violates children’s rights,  rob them of  their  innocence and damage their future.

I am greatly honored that  the Council has decided to include to the IACACP’s campaign the 1343 24/7 Actionline dedicated to counter human trafficking.  Please be  assured that your trust in choosing the 1343 as a medium for reporting will be amply  rewarded. We also see this as  a great opportunity for the 1343 Actionline to widen its coverage,  work

with other advocates,  build stronger networks and be more pro-active  in going after  verified online child pornography cases.      

It has been five (5) years since the 1343 Actionline against Human Trafficking was established through the initiative of the CFO as  Chair of the IACAT-ADVOCOM. Its creation is  part of our   effort to engage everyone in the fight against human trafficking, in line with the core message of “Laban kontra Human Trafficking, Laban nating lahat! Through the Public-Private Partnership program of the government, we joined forces  with the Dynamic Outsource Solutions or DOS 1, a business process outsourcing company providing human resource and technical support to  the Actionline.

As you may know, the 1343 is the first 24/7 national hotline which is primarily dedicated to campaign against human trafficking and other related cases which are  a prelude to trafficking such as illegal recruitment, trafficking in the guise of intermarriage. It aims  to receive and respond to requests for assistance, inquiries and referrals from victims including their families and the public.

Its accessibility is highlighted  by the simple  dialing  of 1343 within Metro Manila and adding (02) when calling from the  provinces. We are happy to report that from the use of telephones, 1343 has now evolved to more advanced  media and technology such as  the internet,  social media and  mobile application. Using  these conduits we have   increased  the action line’s  accessibility to the public especially the youth.  

Since the operationalization of the 1343 Actionline in 2011, it has gathered   439 case reports involving 419 victims.  These reports are handled in coordination with  partners not only in the government but also with the private sector and civil society  networks  The
same referral mechanism will definitely be replicated for the IACACP and  be instrumental in protecting the survivors of online child exploitation.  

To conclude, I know that each one of you will have an important role in this advocacy. Through this training, you can refine your skills to be child-friendly officers and  develop the much needed coordination and intervention procedure.  Let us preserve and protect the rights of our children  and not allow  this crime  to steal their future. We hope that together we will  eventually make the Philippines, not a  haven for the perpetrators of this  crime, but rather  the safest haven for our children.

Again, a pleasant day to all and Mabuhay tayong lahat!


Category: news


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