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TIP Report Hero - Cecilia Flores-Oebanda of the Philippines

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 05 2008 04:29 AM | Updated as of Jun 05 2008 12:29 PM

The US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 cited a Filipina as one of its heroes. The report wrote:

Cecilia Flores-Oebanda, a longtime advocate against trafficking, and former political prisoner, continues to pave the road for NGO and government collaboration on anti-trafficking efforts in the Philippines and around the world.

As the President and Executive Director of the Visayan Forum Foundation, Ms. Flores-Oebanda works for the welfare of marginalized migrants. Seventeen years after she founded the organization to strengthen the rights of migrant women and children from poor areas, Ms. Flores-Oebanda manages five halfway houses and four domestic centers, and will open three new halfway houses in 2008.

Since 2001, Visayan Forum has rescued and provided assistance to more than 32,000 victims and potential victims of trafficking, and has helped file 66 trafficking cases on behalf of 166 victims.

Ms. Flores-Oebanda is also the recipient of Anti-Slavery International’s Anti-Slavery Award in 2005 and the Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2008.