Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) is proud to be part of the National Youth Summit of the Movement of Anti-Trafficking Advocates organized by the MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) and the Visayan Forum held at the Ateneo de Manila University last October 24 to 25, 2011.
Supported by the USAID, AustralianAID and organized in partnership with Dakila (Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism) and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, the event gathered a hundred youth leaders from all over the Philippines.
The two-day summit opened with solidarity messages from MTV EXIT Campaign Director Matt Love, Visayan Forum Deputy Executive Director Roland Pacis, US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Hon. Leslie A. Bassett, and Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith. Keynote Address was delivered by Sec. Leila de Lima of the Department of Justice, which is also the Designated Chair of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).
MTV EXIT showed its documentary entitled Enslaved which delved on the realities of trafficking in the Philippines. United Nations Children’s Fund’s (Unicef) Jesus Far presented on the children’s rights code (CRC), while VF Policy Center Jerome Alcantara presented on how human trafficking is a challenge for the youth. A human trafficking survivor also shared her experience to provide an insight on the experience.
For Day 1’s afternoon session, participants were divided into groups, within which they shared their organizations’ current efforts to fight human trafficking. They also learned how to influence the Sangguniang Kabataan with the Anti-Trafficking advocacy, through the sharing of experience by SK Cebu Provincial SK Federation President Aladin Wilyamie Caminero.
For Day 2, Filipino youth champions provided insights on leadership and innovation. Mr. Harvey S. Keh, ADMU’s Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship discussed the youth’s great potential in sparking change, while Anna Meloto-Wilk, President, Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. discussed her experience in helping prevent trafficking by employing best labor practices in her company.
Rommel Juan, President of Binalot Fiesta Foods, Inc. also narrated his business’s corporate social responsibility practices, but also delved on how ingenuity in strategizing works as well in business as in advocacy. Finally, Called to Rescue Director Anthony Pangilinan talked about the importance of persistence and not fearing failure in ensuring the success of campaigns.
The afternoon featured another breakout session for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao groups to discuss 10 things that the youth can do to fight trafficking. The two-day summit ended with a networking session and a solidarity night for all participants as well as the organizers to express commitment to unite against human trafficking.#