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International Cooperation in Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Smuggling of Migrants (From Resource Material Series No. 62, P 94-103, 2004, Simon Cornell, ed. -- See NCJ-206385)

NCJ Number
Severino H. Gana Jr.
Date Published
February 2004
10 pages
With a focus on the policies and activities of the Philippines, this paper discusses treaty-based and nontreaty-based forms of international cooperation in reducing or eradicating human smuggling and trafficking, with attention to cooperation in extradition and legal assistance in criminal matters as well as informal cooperation.
Currently, the Philippines has nine extradition treaties and two mutual legal assistance treaties in criminal matters that are in force. Recently, the Philippines concluded an extradition treaty with China, along with a treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. Under none of the treaties, however, has there been a request related to offenses that involve human smuggling and trafficking in persons. If there should be a request for extradition related to such offenses, the Philippines must contend with the issue of dual criminality (the action at issue must be a crime in the Philippines as well as in the requesting country). Currently, the Philippines has no specific law that deals directly with human trafficking; however, there is a bill entitled the Anti-Trafficking in Human Beings Act of 2001 that is pending in the Philippine Congress; this act would criminalize human trafficking in all its forms. Until this bill becomes law, existing laws pertinent to child abuse, illegal immigration, and mail-order brides can be applied to many aspects and modes of trafficking in persons. After noting that the Philippines places international treaties on the same legal footing as domestic laws, this paper details the implementation of Philippine law that governs extradition. Separate sections of the paper discuss formal procedures for processing requests for extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters received from treaty partners, as well as informal modes of cooperation that have proven effective in addressing human smuggling and trafficking.