Back in 2011, the US Secretary of State (then) and now U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the Philippines. Mrs. Clinton flew in from the APEC Summit in Hawaii to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the US-PH Mutual Defense Treaty.
One of the major agendas during her two-day visit was a gathering and an open forum with youth leaders, campus journalists, bloggers and selected media guests at the National Museum. I had the great honor to be invited and a privilege to ask Mrs. Clinton an important question about human trafficking in the Philippines and somehow get a feel on her personal stand on the matter. Ever since the conversation, I continued to follow her statements regarding the issue. Case and point, she made a clear stand that if she were to be elected as the next US President, she will make human trafficking a moral and strategic priority. This will be done by creating inclusive survivors programs putting them at the center of intervention, strengthening our government’s response mechanism while increasing the resources; and launching a global alliance to tackle the problem head on.
The upcoming election gives us a rare opportunity to highlight human trafficking as a very real and urgent problem that affects us all. It gives us a chance to hold our leaders and officials accountable and a responsibility to follow through with the promises they made after the election. Let’s continue to be vigilant, stand against injustice and refuse to do nothing.