The Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime

Wednesday, 16 Aug 2023
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Bali Process Member States joint period of action to target transnational organised criminal networks involved in people smuggling and trafficking in persons

The RSO was pleased to support the Bali Process Working Group on Disruption of Criminal Networks Involved in People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons joint planning session, which took place over 26-27 July.  

The two-day event, chaired by New Zealand and Viet Nam, brought together law enforcement, immigration and policy officers from across Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, the Maldives, the Philippines, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Canada, with discussions using case studies aiming to pave the way for Member State commitments to joint periods of action through investigation plans and shared intelligence strategies.  

The event was opened by Johnathan Kings, New Zealand’s Ambassador to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, followed by country presentations from Sri Lanka and New Zealand that shed light on some of the challenges faced in border control and countering human trafficking.  

Panellists from the UK Home Office, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, led discussions around the importance of collaboration across international law enforcement agencies in dismantling organised irregular migration networks.

New Zealand, Viet Nam, Sri Lanka and Thailand were amongst other member countries who agreed to launch a joint period of action and investigation, focused on targeting specific human smuggling and human trafficking risks in the Asia Pacific Region.

New Zealand’s Irregular Migration Officer to the Mekong Region, Ben Quinn, spoke on behalf of the Disruption Working Group co-chairs and said: “Throughout the conference, we emphasised the importance of open communication, effective coordination, and building strong partnerships to maximize our collective impact. How we work together over the next 12 months will demonstrate that Members States can collaborate to find solutions to disrupt illegal activity in the region.”

The Joint Period of Action continues through 2023 and into 2024 with more in-person and online events planned.