Thank you, Mister President. 

The Philippines thanks the Special Rapporteur and the Working Group for the presentation of their reports.

We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s comprehensive analysis of the implications of global labor market dynamics, demographic trends, climate change and the environment on slavery.

The SR has mentioned that in the Asia-Pacific region, the interlinkage between vulnerability to exploitation and climate change may become more apparent. In this regard, we wish to share that the Philippines, through the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, initiated in 2017 a regional thematic study on the human rights of women affected by natural disasters. The study identified institutional programs and common areas of concern in the ten ASEAN countries with a view to providing a way forward on strengthened protection of the human rights of ASEAN women in emergency situations.

The Philippines underscores the need to protect the human rights and well-being of the survivors of human trafficking, forced labor, and other modern forms of slavery, and stresses the need for prevention efforts. We are pleased that some of our innovative initiatives in partnership with private sector actors are positively highlighted by the Special Rapporteur in her report.

We are honored to share that the Philippines has been recognized by the US State Department since 2016 with a Tier-1 ranking which signifies the highest compliance level a government can achieve for its anti-trafficking measures. This stems from our serious and sustained anti-trafficking efforts demonstrated by the strong enforcement of our anti-trafficking law, the punishment and conviction of traffickers, the proactive screening procedures to identify victims, and the expansion of programs to prevent trafficking of Filipinos. We reiterate our readiness to work with the international community to end modern slavery, in all its forms, and prevent the victimization of the vulnerable sectors of the society.

The Philippines reassures the Special Rapporteur and the Working Group of its continued support and cooperation.

Thank you, Mr. President. END.