Speech of Commission on Human Rights Commissioner Faydah M. Dumarpa on the CSW 68th Side Event: Innovative Partnerships to End Trafficking in Women and Girls


On behalf of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, the country’s National Human Rights Institution, we thank the Holy See and the Philippine Permanent Mission in New York for the

opportunity to share the Commissions’ best practices and key learnings in addressing trafficking in women and girls. Today, allow us to briefly share 4 effective practices that the Commission has adopted in addressing trafficking in women and girls. These are: (1) the adoption of holistic approach, including in our work on strengthening responses; (2) the adoption of community-based strategies and close coordination with women’s organizations on the ground; (3) championing survivor centered-approaches; and (4) domestic and regional collaborations in supporting survivors.

First is the adoption of a holistic approach.
It recognizes that multiple identities and specific contexts can render a person more vulnerable to and at risk of trafficking. It also recognizes the need to adopt measures that address and respond to specific vulnerabilities and contexts – this means calling for better accessibility and addressing specific barriers of women and girls taking into consideration their multiple identities and specific contexts. It recognizes that survivors are not similarly situated and responses should recognize and respond to these differences.

Second, we adopt community based strategies and work closely with women’s
organizations to enhance response. We recognize the extensive work of women’s human rights organizations and community-based responses in amplifying survivor’s voices and participation; in ensuring multi-disciplinary and effective referral and response mechanisms; and in calling duty bearers into account. We believe that through partnerships and community engagements, we can ensure that our policies and interventions are effective and grounded on lived experiences of those most marginalized, not leaving anyone behind.

Third is championing survivor-centered approaches.
Responses to trafficking in women and girls should always be survivor centered. As an NHRI and the Gender Ombud of the country, we champion survivor centered approaches to members of the referral system, we enter into formal agreements to ensure its institutionalization in GBV responses, and we constantly remind our concerned government agencies that responses should always ensure respect and dignity of survivors.

Fourth is the importance of domestic and regional collaborations in addressing trafficking.
The Commission and its regional offices participate in inter-agency mechanisms that address trafficking and violence against women. This the Commission leverages – in surfacing gaps as identified by community women and women organizations working on the ground. We use this platform as well to forward key areas for action and to advocate for survivor centered approaches. Regionally, we work with fellow NHRIs in responding to cases of gender based violence, including trafficking, and we work with development partners in enhancing response.

To end, for us in the Commission – effective response to trafficking in women and girls is one that responds to and has at its center the grounded and lived experiences of the most vulnerable groups of women, including survivors of violence. It is and should adopt a holistic and survivor centered approaches. It adopts community based and local strategies while at the same time fosters community, national, regional and even international collaboration. I know that these practices are the same practices that underlie the work of the Santa Marta group, and it is an honor for us in the Commission to sit in a panel with staunch advocates in making innovative and community based responses work in combatting trafficking in women and girls. Rest assured, National Human Rights Institutions, including us in the Commission are your partner in this endeavor. May our work continue to reflect and address the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized, and may we continue to fight so that no one is left behind. Thank you and Padayon – in English – We carry on. Masha_Allah.