AICHR convenes human rights consultation with national task forces on countering trafficking in persons in ASEAN
JAKARTA, 3 October 2022 – The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened the Consultation on Human Rights and Countering Trafficking in Persons in ASEAN on 27-28 September via video conference.
The consultation is the first of its kind in ASEAN and aims to provide a platform for sharing experiences and practices among the Task Forces on Anti Trafficking in Persons (TIP) or similar body/unit in ASEAN Member States (AMS), and recommendations for the Bohol Work Plan 2.0 to address TIP.
This activity was jointly organised by AICHR Indonesia and Malaysia with the support of their respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the ASEAN-Australia Counter-Trafficking Programme.
Ninety participants from task forces or similar body/unit on countering TIP in nine AMS and invited civil society organisations, the business sector, and the UN Global Compact, attended the consultation.
The participants shared experiences, good practices, challenges, and ways forward under four pillars of addressing TIP, including prevention, protection of victims, law enforcement and prosecution of crimes, and regional and international cooperation and coordination.
Participants were also updated on regional measures to address TIP from ASEAN sectoral bodies and stakeholders as well as new trends, approaches, and perspectives on TIP in the region.
At the conclusion of the activity, participants agreed to:
- Provide platforms for bilateral and regional policy dialogue and exchange of good practices among task forces on counter TIP in ASEAN.
- Move towards regional harmonisation of TIP laws and policies and regional implementation of the non-punishment principle.
- Develop regional operational-level guidelines on various TIP issues, including victim identification; adopting rights-based, trauma-informed approaches; and shelter provision and psychosocial services, and implement activities to encourage the adoption of these guidelines at the national level.
- Strengthen access to remedies for victims of TIP and forced labour.
- Develop a regional referral mechanism.
- Establish databases for information exchange for an analysis of TIP trends and data related to safe migration.
- Improve understanding of the extraterritorial effect and limitations of domestic TIP laws.
- Increase engagement with the private sector in combating TIP as well as the relationships between human rights, corporate accountability, money laundering, and TIP.
Indonesian representative to AICHR, Wahyuningrum, hoped that the consultation could be organised regularly as a communication platform to share information among the national task forces on countering TIP and similar units in AMS. Further, she said it can be a laboratory to develop initiatives for multilateral and bilateral cooperation, and a learning hub and networking forum for a community of practitioners to counter TIP in the region.