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28 June 2018

WASHINGTON D.C. -The Philippines retains Tier 1 ranking in the U.S. Department of State's 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report that was unveiled by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Thursday, 28 June 2018, at the US Department of State.

Kari Johnstone, Acting Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, and Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the US President, joined Secretary Pompeo at the Report’s launch ceremony, which was also attended by several members of the diplomatic corps, including Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez.

"Being in Tier 1 for three consecutive years validates the effectiveness of the Philippines' victim-centered and multi-agency approach to address human trafficking," Ambassador Romualdez said in a statement.

"It also speaks to the determination of the Philippine Government to uphold and protect human rights. The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D. C. remains committed to engaging and cooperating with US stakeholders in advancing the international anti-TIP agenda," the Ambassador emphasized.

The Report, released annually by the US Department of State since 2001, is mandated by the US Congress under Public Law 106-386, otherwise known as “Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA) of the year 2000”. The TVPA identifies minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking applicable to the government of a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims of severe forms of trafficking.

There are four tier placements signifying level of compliance with TVPA standards, namely, Tier 1 (full compliance), Tier 2 (no full compliance but making significant efforts to comply with standards), Tier 2 Watchlist (no full compliance and absolute number of victims increasing), and Tier 3 (no full compliance, no significant efforts to comply).

The Philippines was upgraded to Tier 1 in 2016.

The 2018 narrative on the Philippines is available on https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/282803.pdf. ###