14 February 2022, Manila - The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and International Justice Mission (IJM) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on ProtectPortal, a data harmonization project that intends to bridge the gap on timely data reporting and response to trafficked victims. Through Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar and IJM’s Regional Vice President for Global Program Against Online Sexual Exploitation of Children for the Asia Pacific Region, Atty. Samson Inocencio, the MOA was signed last February 14, 2022 at 2 o’clock in the afternoon via Zoom meeting.
Also present in the momentous event is IACAT’s OIC-Executive Director, SASP Wendell P. Bendoval who shared his positive insights regarding the MOA. Rosemarie Ayos-Lujero, IJM’s Senior Lead, Criminal Justice System Monitoring and Evaluation followed with her presentation stating that, “a comprehensive, harmonized, and unduplicated data collection system and analysis of trafficking-in-persons across agencies, is an important portal towards the development and effective implementation of timely and need-focused policies and programs in the Philippines.” The MOA signing segment proper ensued.
IJM’s Regional Vice President, Atty. Samson Inocencio thanked all the people who made this project possible. “ProtectPortal celebrates another milestone in the continuing work of child protection. We are honored to be partnering with IACAT and working with trust, excellence, and a shared commitment towards justice, creating a safe future that lasts for all Filipinos,” he ended. Then, Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar gave her speech that afternoon. “With the continuation of our partnership through this agreement, I am thrilled that we will now be addressing the long-standing concerns and issues on the data collection, monitoring, and analysis through this data harmonization project,” she shared.
Before the ceremonial signing ended, Assistant Secretary Nicolas Felix Ty said that this is a momentous event for both IJM and IACAT. He reiterated the importance of data harmonization between the agencies, “The database that will be created will be instrumental not only in ensuring that perpetrators get what they are due, that survivors are well taken care of, but more importantly, in providing vital information that will aid legislators and implementers of the law to better combat the menace, that is human trafficking,” Asec. Ty ended.
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About International Justice Mission
International Justice Mission is a global organization that protects people in poverty from violence. IJM partners with local authorities in 24 program offices in 14 countries to combat slavery, violence against women and children, and police abuse of power against people who are poor. IJM works with local authorities and governments to rescue and restore survivors, hold perpetrators accountable, and help strengthen public justice systems so they can better protect people from violence.
Since 2015, IJM has partnered with the Philippine Government, international law enforcement, and NGOs to combat online sexual exploitation of children, in particular the trafficking of children to create new child sexual abuse materials (CSAM), including via livestreaming video. We have assisted Philippine authorities in more than 251 operations, leading to the rescue of 895 victims and the arrest of 326 suspects of online sexual exploitation of children (first case dates back to 2011).