Maria Susana “Toots” Ople, who is well-known for championing the causes of Filipino migrant workers, has been appointed as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking.

ople - OFW champion Susana ‘Toots’ Ople named to UN agency’s Board of Trustees
Maria Susana “Toots” Ople

Ople’s appointment was contained in a letter sent to her by Ghada Waly, executive director of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The Trust Fund is being managed by the UNODC.

“We are very pleased to have a person of your caliber and experience partnering with UNODC in its endeavor to help those who suffer from injustice and violations of their rights,” Waly said in the October 19 letter, congratulating Ople for her appointment to the prestigious board.

Waly said the Trust Fund is an important element of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, adopted by the General Assembly in July, 2010, with a view to furthering the implementation of the protocol to prevent, suppress, and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

As a member of the Board of Trustees, Ople is tasked to provide strategic guidance on the Fund, to consider proposed projects for financing, and to support efforts to mobilize resources.

Ople, who is also the NGO Representative for Migrant Workers Sector in the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), is set to attend the introductory meeting of the Board of Trustees of the UN-attached agency sometime next month to discuss the current status and annual work plan for the Fund and highlight communications and other strategic priorities for the next three years.

“I am confident that with your invaluable support and guidance, many victims and survivors of human trafficking around the world will be able to receive much-needed assistance,” Waly told Ople in the letter.

The 58-year-old Ople is also the president and founder of another non-government organization named after her father, the Blas F Ople Policy Center and Training Institute.

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