The Government of the Philippines fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore the Philippines remained on Tier 1. These efforts included prosecuting more traffickers than the previous reporting period, including significantly more defendants charged with using child soldiers and sentencing the majority of convicted traffickers to significant terms of imprisonment. The government also increased the number of prosecutors assigned to anti-trafficking task forces and the number of staff to its anti-trafficking coordination body.
Sex Trafficking in the Philippines
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Human trafficking and the prostitution of children is a significant issue in the Philippines , often controlled by organized crime syndicates. In an effort to deal with the problem, the Philippines passed R. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons had placed the country in "Tier 1" fully compliant with minimum standards of the U. Trafficking Victims Protection Act. A report put the number of child victims of prostitution at 75, in the Philippines. The United Nations Children's Fund Unicef estimated that 60, to , children in the Philippines were involved in prostitution rings. An undetermined number of children are forced into exploitative labour operations. It was estimated in that the Philippines was the country with the fourth highest number of children forced into prostitution ,  and authorities have identified an increase in child molesters travelling to the Philippines.
While it met the United States' minimum standards to curb human trafficking for the sixth straight year, the Philippine government has failed to convict officials complicit to the crimes, the US State Department said its Trafficking in Persons TIP report. The Philippines has retained its Tier 1 ranking on battling human trafficking for six consecutive years, though the Philippines is also known to be a global hotspot for the online sexual exploitation of children OSEC trade. According to the report, the Philippines retained its Tier 1 ranking because of the following accomplishments:. The US State Department acknowledged that the Philippine government was able to continue anti-trafficking operations despite the coronavirus pandemic. Even as the virus pushed some courts to shut down, court filings and proceedings continued virtually. Some trafficking convictions were made through video conferencing. However, some victim-survivors endured unstable internet connection. Despite having systems to go after traffickers and assist survivors, Philippine authorities were still unable to hold accountable erring officials who were complicit in the crimes. In May , the Senate opened an investigation into reports of Bureau of Immigration BI officials complicit in outbound human trafficking.