The Dialogue Series on Human Trafficking, the Netherlands embassy in the Philippines

The embassy of the Netherlands in the Philippines has institutionalised bilateral dialogues on human trafficking with Philippine government agencies as well as wider multi-sectoral dialogues (the Manila International Dialogues on Human Trafficking). The international community and civil society in the country participate in the dialogues.

The aim of these dialogues is to facilitate the exchange of best practices and information. And to encourage more partners (particularly international players) to recognise their roles in preventing trafficking in human beings. For example, through the visa process, sharing information with local authorities, and giving support to non-governmental organisations through small projects.

Partners involved in the cooperation

  • Manila-based embassies, for example the EU Delegation and embassies of EU member states and ASEAN countries
  • Philippine authorities, namely the Departments of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Labour, the Philippine National Police, the Anti-Money Laundering Council and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
  • NGOs working on the rights of children, women and overseas workers.

What makes this practice successful?

  • Building networks and creating a good relationship with partners eases the flow and exchange of information, including in criminal investigations. This is important, especially in such a complex and transnational issue involving international players.
  • Getting the highest officials of different organisations, including embassies, around the table has created an empowering environment for those that work on the ground (police officers, policy officers, community workers), by validating the importance of the work that they do.
  • Authorities and organisations in the Philippines now have a platform where they can express where support from the international community is needed the most, and also what is the most effective way of dealing with particular cases. For example, the Department of Justice has guided the embassy of the Netherlands on how to speed up requests for legal assistance.