On March 17th, the death anniversary of Flor Contemplacion (a Filipino domestic worker who was unjustly executed in Singapore), GABRIELA USA took launched the JUSTICE for Filipino Trafficked Teachers campaign.
Since 2003, batches of teachers have been illegally recruited and trafficked to the U.S. by Philippines-based recruitment agency owner Isidro Rodriguez. Case complaints have been reported to Philippine Embassy officials in the past as well as to the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA). However, the response from the Philippine government has been inadequate and unsatisfactory.
Gabriela Seattle called upon Filipinos, friends, and allies across the nation to join the teachers in their struggle for justice, by taking 41 selfies. They also began to work closely with Trafficked Teacher Ethel Paat, who resided now in Spokane.
On Saturday, May 10, 2014 over 100 people gathered in New York City for the Summit on Human Trafficking: Communities Mobilizing Against Modern Day Slavery. Gab Chair Precious Butiu, & Ethel attended the summit so that Ethel could share her personal story of being illegally trafficked to the U.S. along with over 300 other teachers.
Then, on May 29, 2014, BAYAN PNW held a panel and discussion on Human Trafficking, from our Homeland to our own Backyard. 1470826 (the number of Filipinos who migrated to the US in 2010, the year Ethel was trafficked). Precious, Ethel Paat, Donna Denina, and API Chaya co-founder and community organizer Auntie Emmie shared stories and information about the work being done now to hold criminal traffickers and governments accountable.