Philppines: Interfaith Visit by Obama's Faith Based Initiatives Office
United States President Barack Obama's special assistant Joshua DuBois will be in the Philippines for a two-day visit from September 4 to 6 to tackle human trafficking issues with faith-based organizations in the country.
United States President Barack Obama's special assistant will be in the Philippines for a two-day visit from September 4 to 6 to tackle human trafficking issues with faith-based organizations in the country.
Joshua DuBois, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will address an interfaith forum hosted by Ateneo de Zamboanga University.
He will also meet with the students to discuss President Obama’s Interfaith Campus Challenge, the US Embassy in Manila said in a statement on Tuesday.
“DuBois’s visit, which is being coordinated through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will focus on efforts to combat human trafficking and fostering greater collaboration with faith-based organizations and leaders in the Philippines,” an embassy statement said.
While in Zamboanga, DuBois will participate in a roundtable discussion on the role of religious groups in peace and development in Mindanao hosted by the Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy.
He will also meet with alumni of USAID’s Congressional Internship Program for Young Mindanao Leaders (CIPYML) project.
CIPYML is a partnership project of the Philippine House of Representatives and USAID that provides young Mindanaoans with training and hands-on experience in policy analysis, development and advocacy to enhance their commitment to democratic values and institutions.
From Zamboanga, DuBois will travel to Cebu City to discuss anti-human trafficking initiatives with members of an inter-faith organization, International Justice Mission, local government officials, members of the business community and civil society organizations.
The embassy said Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which held its first meeting on July 30-31, 2012 at the White House, wants to focus increased attention on the issue of human trafficking.
In its 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, the US State Department said the Philippines still “does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking,” but “is making significant efforts to do so.”
The Philippines has been retained in the Tier 2 category of countries that has yet to fully meet requirements under international anti-trafficking standards.
It said the Philippines remains “a source country and, to a much lesser extent, a destination and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.”
Obama remarked early this year that the U.S. “is committed to eradicating trafficking in persons, and we will draw on tools ranging from law enforcement and victim service provision, to public awareness building and diplomatic pressure.”
“Because we know that government efforts are not enough, we are also increasing our partnerships with a broad coalition of local communities, faith-based and non-governmental organizations, schools, and businesses,” he said.
Accompanying DuBois to the Philippines USAID Director for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, J. Mark Brinkmoeller, and USAID Human Trafficking and Gender Advisor, Veronica Zeitlin.
USAID is a government agency providing assistance to developing and least developed nations worldwide. - Michaela del Callar, VVP, GMA News
Source: GMA News
Photo Credit: Google Images (site not available)
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