Trafficking Casewatch

VERA Files monitored the progress of human trafficking cases from arrest to prosecution and conviction, prompted by reports of court backlogs, complicity and corruption in all levels of government that has enabled traffickers to prosper. This project is implemented through the small grants facility of the US embassy in Manila.

In This Collection

Bohol deep sea divers face risks paying off debt

Defying wind and rain, children romp around the white sand beach leading to this 2-hectare village of houses on stilts where mothers tend their homes and men their fighting cocks.

Rosabella Sulani: A tough woman for a dangerous job

Inside a small room at the Tawi-Tawi Provincial Police Station, leaders of the local anti-trafficking task force had been trying to pry information out of five women who had just been intercepted by the police getting off a boat from Zamboanga City.

Stopping modern slavery one lecture at a time

Her city is not among the known human trafficking hotspots in the country yet the cause has found a champion in Regional Trial Court prosecutor Ruth Bernabe.

Human trafficking continues in Yolanda-hit areas

After super typhoon Yolanda swept away her home in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, 14-year-old Noemi was forced to beg for food. Her family lost everything, and had nowhere to go.

With zero budget, Tawi-Tawi may lose war against traffickers

When authorities intercepted here 48 Filipinos believed to have been recruited by human trafficking syndicates for work in Malaysia, they thought they were doing the potential victims a favor. Little did they know the victims considered them villains.

Anywhere but here: Deported human trafficking victims dream of life as illegals in Sabah

They were arrested by authorities for illegally working in Malaysia, and detained for months in cramped cells where they were fed only twice a day. Yet the four Filipino deportees said they would give up everything for a chance to go back, even if it meant going through the whole ordeal again.

Rising number of trafficked fishermen alarms Tawi-Tawi authorities

Tawi-Tawi authorities are alarmed at the growing number of fishermen from the Visayas who end up here after being recruited by human trafficking syndicates to engage in dangerous compressor diving.

Championing trafficking victims

Lawyer Darlene Pajarito had her first brush with human trafficking in 2004 as an assistant prosecutor in Zamboanga City.

Armed conflict, falsified docs make trafficking easier in Maguindanao

All she knew was that she was on her way to Manila to train as a domestic helper abroad.