Press Release No. 066-2012
4 May 2012
Philippine Ambassador Ezzedin Tago led the Embassy’s participation in a workshop organized by the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) on Human Trafficking held on 21 April 2012 at Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The one-day workshop focused on the Kingdom’s efforts to implement measures against trafficking in persons, and was organized by the Human Rights Commission Permanent Committee for Anti-Trafficking in Persons.
Both Saudi Arabia and the Philippines are signatories to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Saudi Arabia has enacted anti-human trafficking legislation when it adopted its “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law” in 2009, under Royal Decree No. M/40 in 14 July 2009.
The Philippines enacted Republic Act 9208 known as “Anti-Trafficking in Person Act of 2003” as a cornerstone of its legislation against human trafficking. The Philippines also has adopted several laws to protect women and children rights.
Saudi Arabia is also a signatory of the Arab Charter on Human Rights adopted in 2004.
Foreign diplomats, Saudi law enforcement and investigation agencies, and members of the Saudi HRC Permanent Committee for Trafficking in Persons attended the workshop.
In his opening statement, President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, H.E. Dr. Bandar bin Mohammad Al-Aiban, recognized the importance of cooperation with labor-sending countries to efficiently implement laws against human trafficking in persons.
Dr. Mohamed Mattar, who is the Executive Director of the Protection Project, a human rights institute based at the John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, made a comprehensive and detailed presentation on the Saudi law against human trafficking in persons. According to Dr. Mattar’s biography, he has worked in over 50 countries to promote state compliance with international human rights standards and advised governments on drafting and implementing anti-trafficking legislation. He also participated in drafting the United Nations model law on trafficking in persons.
Dr. Naser Al-Shahrani, a member of the Permanent Committee for Trafficking in Persons also made a presentation on the implementation of the Saudi law in the Kingdom. The workshop ended with an interactive discussion on means of implementing the anti-trafficking law.
Vice Consul Redentor Genotiva and Mr. Camaloddin Hasim from the Philippine Embassy also attended the one-day workshop.