On 31 January 2022, the Philippine Embassy in Syria received the judgment award for winning the first Human Trafficking Case filed before the Damascus Court against Al Shams recruitment agency. For the first time, the Filipinas who filed the case were awarded a judgment of compensation against Syrian nationals who are known for perpetrating human trafficking activities with impunity, the penalty of Five Hundred Thousand Syrian Pounds (SYP500,000.00), the highest amount ever meted out by a Syrian Court. This is a landmark judicial victory awarded by a Syrian Court in favor of the Philippine Embassy and trafficked Filipinas.
This groundbreaking case is an unprecedented win in the anti-trafficking prosecution and access to justice programs of the Embassy. It was initially filed in 2017 by Mr. Norman Padalhin, former Consul, and Ms. Sheila Solas, former ATN Officer and Consular Assistant of the Philippine Embassy, then eventually pursued by CDA Verzosa in coordination with the Embassy retainer lawyer, Atty. Omar Al-Zaeem.
The Philippine Embassy continues to advocate for better rights of migrant workers in Syria as part of the foreign policy pillar on protection of nationals, as embodied in the “The Syrian Model” best practice strategy. End.