In observance of the 2018 World Day against Trafficking in Persons, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), and Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), will be holding a Cineforum featuring the film, Across the Crescent Moon on July 31, 2018 at the Cinematheque Manila.
The Cineforum is one of the main activities lined up for the week-long celebration of the global event in the Philippines, which mainly aims to raise public awareness on human trafficking. It will be graced by the film’s director and producer Ms. Baby Nebrida, IACAT member agencies and partners led by the DOJ as IACAT Chair, the CFO (Usec. Astravel Pimentel-Naik) and the FDCP (Chairperson Liza Diño).
In 2013, the United Nations General adopted a resolution designating July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. This resolution declared that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”
The award-winning masterpiece of Ms. Nebrida (heralded as the Ambassador for Peace by the International Parliamentarians), is a good eye-opener to the problem of human trafficking in the Philippines. The protagonist, portrayed by Matteo Guidicelli, is a Muslim soldier who battles human trafficking and other crimes in the Southern part of Mindanao while keeping his marriage to his Christian wife (Alex Godinez) intact. The film highlights the perils of modern-day slavery and digs deeper into kidnapping, abduction, and illegal recruitment, as three modes of trafficking in the Philippines. It also tackles the uniqueness of inter-faith relationships, echoing the importance of unity despite tremendous religious and cultural differences. The film has garnered numerous international acclaims such as “Best Ensemble Cast and Best Feature Global Film” by the International Film Festival Manhattan and “Best Film” by the Catholic Mass Media Awards.
Human trafficking is a crime that exploits men, women, and children for numerous purposes including forced labor and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labor globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation. From 2016 until the current year, the Philippine government, through the IACAT headed by the DOJ, has consistently ranked Tier 1 in the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. This means that the government fully meets the minimum global standards for the elimination of trafficking. The launch of IACAT’s 1343 Actionline Against Trafficking in 2011 marked the commitment of our government in eliminating threats of human trafficking, slavery, and abuse.