Republic Act No. 9208, known as the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, institutes policies to eliminate trafficking in persons especially women and children. It establishes the necessary institutional mechanisms to protect and support trafficked persons and provides penalties for its violations. In 2012, RA No. 9208 was amended through RA No. 10364, collectively known as the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.
The Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) was established as the central coordinating body that monitors and oversees the strict implementation of this Expanded Act. It is mandated, among others, to develop comprehensive and integrated programs to prevent and suppress trafficking in persons, establish the necessary institutional mechanism for the protection and support of trafficked persons, and ensure the timely, coordinated, and effective response to cases of trafficking in persons particularly in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking persons cases. IACAT also has the power to create anti-trafficking task forces to ensure that agencies, in a timely and coordinated manner, immediately and effectively respond to cases of trafficking in persons, assist in filing of cases against individuals, agencies, institutions, or establishments that violate the provisions of the Expanded Act, and protect the rights and needs of trafficked persons.
Presently, IACAT has a total of 24 task forces, which include 2 national task forces, 6 port-based task forces, and 16 regional task forces.