The Philippines Against Child Trafficking (PACT) is a network of child rights advocates committed to building communities that protect children against trafficking. Its members include non-government and people’s organizations, as well as individuals from the government, who believe that it is the moral responsibility of the government, NGOs, business sector, academe, faith-based organizations, people’s organizations and families to create such a community.
PACT envisions itself as a leading network of advocates for child protection against trafficking in the Philippines. The organization remains steadfast in its advocacy to promote children’s rights and protect children against trafficking. It is committed to the principles upholding the inherent worth of every individual as well as harmonious interpersonal and productive relationships within the families and communities of its members.
PACT was formed in 2002 as part of Asia ACTs, the Asian regional campaign against child trafficking. It was first conceived as a campaign that would make child protection its paramount issue.A testament to its campaign is the passage of RA 9208 and several local ordinances to strengthen the implementation of the anti-trafficking law.
Since then, PACT has been actively conducting consultations, training, community education sessions, public events, information drive, action research, mass mobilizations such as parades, motorcades, and theatre training for young people among others, aimed at raising awareness on child trafficking and ensuring the full implementation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law.
PACT has continued to play a key role in raising awareness on trafficking, engaging the active involvement of the community and expanding the network of anti-child trafficking advocates. It has continued to sustain the capacity and commitment of its partners, by facilitating the enhancement of their knowledge and skills; providing technical assistance; and conducting network activities that synthesize the organization and unifies its members.
PACT has over 500 organizational and individual members in the Philippines, with partners reaching more than 53 areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
A National Campaign Council provides guidance and direction to the whole network and are actual project implementers. Its secretariat facilitates the implementation of PACT’s projects.
- Network Building
PACT is continually working towards the establishment of a fully functional network of organizations and individuals working for child protection against trafficking. Members and supporters are actively involved in the institutionalization of the campaign and share in the organization’s culture of openness to diversity and collaboration.An increasing number of children and youth groups in PACT areas have also started to spearhead their own anti-trafficking campaign activities in their respective areas. Among PACT’s children and youth partner organizations are: Bukidnon Youth Against Child Trafficking (BYACT) in Bukidnon, I-ACT (I Against Child Trafficking) in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; I Participate Against Child Trafficking (IPACT) in Sta. Rosa, Laguna; and Cagayan de Oro Youth Against Child Trafficking.
- Community Educators’ Training
Regarded as one of the best practices of PACT since 2002, the Community Educators’ Trainings seek to increase the public’s awareness about the child trafficking phenomenon. PACT trains law enforcers, local governments, NGOs and other community groups to become trainers and help sensitize both the public and private sectors on the problem of child trafficking through community-based sessions.Participants are acquainted with RA 9208 or “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 (as amended by RA 10364 or the Expanded Anti-trafficking in Persons Act) as well as the causes and effects of child trafficking. More child advocates are encouraged to participate in the anti-child trafficking campaign and to report cases of trafficking: lobbyists are born, demanding for services and interventions to prevent trafficking and protect its victims.PACT’s Training Modules include: (1) Community Educator’s Training on Anti-Trafficking, (2) Strengthening Child Protection Mechanisms, and (3) Protection of Trafficked Children.
- December 12 Campaign
PACT is actively involved in the annual commemoration of the adoption of the “Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children,” signed in Palermo, Italy in December 12, 2000. PACT members also link up with other stakeholders for the anti-child trafficking campaign in their respective areas. December 12 has also become an occasion to pass local ordinances, innovate activities adapted to the local situation and solicit commitment to the campaign. This campaign has been instrumental in the increasing number of areas reached by PACT.
- Capability Building of Members
PACT provides opportunities for individuals and organizations to strengthen their work through personnel development activities that will help develop their capabilities and skills in the documentation and handling of cases and lobbying for local ordinances, budget and formation of local coordinative mechanisms.