Story and photo by Hananeel Bordey / Special to The Market Monitor
Weekend cable public-service show Buhay OFW took a big step in fighting human trafficking on its seventh anniversary by launching the Anti-Trafficking OFW Movement (ATOM) at the Golden Bay Restaurant in Pasay City on July 18, 2017.
ATOM was launched to respond to the growing number of cases of human trafficking involving Filipinos worldwide. Its aim is to end modern-day slavery among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) by reminding them that they are not for sale.
ATOM also aims to ensure that Filipinos protect their own by educating them about relevant national and international laws on human trafficking.
Over 10 million Filipino men, women, and children are being targeted for sex trafficking and forced labor all over the world. ATOM cited Hong Kong, Kuwait, Singapore, Qatar, China, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia as common destinations.
“Sobrang laki talaga ng problema natin, at ang anti-human trafficking ay napakahirap, but dahil sa dami ng tumutulong na mga partner-organization natin, talagang alam namin na magkakaroon kami ng information dissemination at makakatulong kami upang magkaroon ng public awareness sa grabeng impact ng ginagawang anti-trafficking (movement),” said Buhay OFW host Marissa del Mar in an interview during the press conference on the ATOM launch.
Del Mar also said the government needs the cooperation of the private sector in extending efforts to reduce the number of human-trafficking cases.
The movement was formed in cooperation with the Buhay OFW Foundation, San Miguel Corp., Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), the National Real Estate Association (NREA), Sterling Group of Companies, Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Chinese Charitable Association (PCCA), Philippine Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PCCCII), the Zonta Club of the Makati Central Business District.
ATOM will hold an oath-taking ceremony for its officers at Manila’s Diamond Hotel on October 23.