Ateneo de Manila University – The Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) in partnership with the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT) held the Basic Orientation Seminar and Workshop on Human Rights and Human Trafficking last July 27-28 of July. The event was conducted at the College of Law of Western Mindanao State University (WMSU).
For a background, the Ateneo Human Rights Center is a university-based institution for the protection and promotion of human rights in the Philippines.Participated in by the different WMSU law students, the seminar is rooted on the objectivesof alternative lawyering and human rights advocacy.
Atty. Ryan Quan gave the first talk on Alternative Lawyering and Social Justice. The topic encompassed the beneficial side of Alternative Lawyering, how it is part of the legal system, how it works within the system and how it seeks change.Basically, the talk stressed that the legal system is not always responsive to the interests of the poor and that is how alternative lawyering came into the picture. The talk featuredthe Sumilao farmers in their rightful strife for their land and how Atty. Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao, and the others joined them in their struggle. Atty. Quan also rendered a talk on Human Rights and the National Situationin which video clips of real life situations of human rights violations were featured.
Next topic was on the Introduction to R.A. 9208: Anti-Trafficking in Persons Actand Women’s Right and Gender Sensitivityby Atty. Ampy Sta. Maria. Included in her presentation were findings on trafficking of women and children especially in the ZAMBASULTA (Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi) area.
Atty. Patty Sison-Arroyo also rendered a talk on Children’s Rights and Child Trafficking. She related the debacles of childtrafficking and how it violates child’s right to grow in a normal environment. She also shared actual experiences in handling child victims of violence and sexual abuse.
The second day of the event covered the Workshop on Client Interview & Legal Aid and Affidavit Making facilitated by Atty. Patricia Cervantes. Law students were immersed in a role-playing activity, in which, they responded to a made-up human trafficking scenario. After which, they proceeded to actual affidavit making based on the earlier role-playing activity.
Moreover, a Validation Session was held last August 20 at the Lantaka Hotel. Assistant City Prosecutor and recipient of the 2011 State Department’s Ten Trafficking in PersonHero Award-Atty. Darlene Pajarito, WMSU College of Law Dean-Atty. Eduardo Sanson, WMSU Legal Officer-Atty. Jules Christian D. Marcos were present during the event together with WMSU law students and other local officials of the different agencies of the city. The event involved a session in which the participants interactively shared their feedbacks on AHRC’s Research on Trafficking of Women and Children from ZAMBASULTA to Malaysia. (Ekeena O. Lim, PAO-WMSU)