AICHR, SOMTC consult stakeholders on effective implementation of Non-Punishment Principles to counter trafficking in persons in ASEAN


BALI, 13 June 2024 – Together with the ASEAN Senior Official Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC), the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) conducted the ASEAN Consultation on Best Practices and Challenges in Implementing Non-Punishments Principle in the Anti-TIP Laws, Policies, and Practices on 10-12 June in Bali.

This Consultation is the implementation of the ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Work Plan Against Trafficking in Persons 2023-2028 (Bohol TIP Work Plan 2.0) and AICHR Five-Year Work Plan 2021-2025.

The Consultation aims to provide a platform to share practices, build the practitioners’ capacity on implementing the non-punishment principle in Trafficking in Persons (TIP) of ASEAN Member States (AMS), and develop a possible regional guideline on its effective implementation.

In her remarks, the Representative of Indonesia to AICHR, Wahyuningrum, explained that the Consultation is one of ASEAN’s responses to the current phenomenon on forced criminality incidences in the context of online scamming trafficking in Southeast Asia. She further emphasised that the application of the non-punishment principle is a useful tool to ensure that the rights of trafficked victims are protected.



Moreover, Assistant Secretary Lilian M. de Leon, Representative of SOMTC Philippines and Lead Shepherd on TIP said that the inclusion of the non-punishment principle in Article 14.7 of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (ACTIP) instructs State Parties to “consider not holding victims of trafficking in persons criminally or administratively liable, for unlawful acts committed by them, if such acts are directly related to the acts of trafficking”.

Representative of the Australian Mission to ASEAN, Miriam Diakite, appreciated ASEAN’s commitment to tackle TIP collectively and ensure that trafficked victims get access to protection, justice as well as support through the application of the non-punishment principle.

More than 80 participants representing AICHR, SOMTC, and Task Forces to counter-trafficking in persons in AMS, National Human Rights Institutions, civil society organisations, and international organisations, were in attendance.



The participants supported the idea of a regional guideline as a reference to an effective implementation of the non-punishment principle and the integration of the principle in all stages of countering trafficking, from identification and investigation, arrest and charge, prosecution, defence and sentencing, to return and reintegrate.

They also shared lessons learnt and best practices, and recognised challenges on victim identification, lack of skills in operating the principle, and interpreting the principle’s scope as well as determining remedies in implementing the non-punishment principle.

The Consultation is the initiative of AICHR Indonesia and SOMTC Philippines in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and with support from the Australian Government funded ASEAN-Australia Counter Trafficking program (ASEAN-ACT).

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