JAKARTA, 6 February 2017 – The Philippines today deposited its instrument of ratification of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) with the Secretary-General of ASEAN. The convention, which was signed by the ASEAN Leaders on 21 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, will now enter into force in thirty days. The ACTIP has already been ratified by Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh expressed appreciation for the Philippines’ leading role in the development, signing and implementation of the ACTIP, noting that a number of activities on ASEAN cross-sectoral cooperation against trafficking in persons have been organised by the Philippines.

Calling on Secretary-General Minh, the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN Elizabeth P. Buensuceso said that “the entry into force of the ACTIP is one of the key priorities of the Philippines ASEAN Chairmanship, and it is a great pleasure that the Philippines plays a pivotal role towards accomplishing this goal.”

The convention demonstrates ASEAN’s commitment to address the need for common standards and approaches in relation to the way in which trafficking in persons is criminalised, investigated and prosecuted as well as the treatment of identified trafficked victims. Its entry into force would effectively respond to regional priorities in combating trafficking in persons. The regional instrument is especially critical in this era of connectivity and open borders.

Together with the implementation of the action lines on trafficking in persons in the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025, the ACTIP adds significant value in maintaining regional peace and security towards a people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN.