Antitrafficking in the Philippines

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

Carmelita Gopez Nuqui, The Philippines

The problem was that the Philippines is a poor country, and trafficking provided a major source of income. With this understanding, Carmelita decided to think more creatively: instead of continuing to lobby Filipino officials, she approached the Japanese government, asking Japanese legislators directly how they could possibly need eighty thousand Filipino dancers and singers every year. The Japanese government also faced pressure from the international community to crack down on this form of modern-day slavery, and feared that the upcoming U.S. Trafficking in Persons report would highlight their antitrafficking shortcomings. Legislators were receptive to Carmelita’s outreach.

Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World by Alyse Nelson


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