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

Monday, 10 Jul 2023

RSO 2022 Annual Report reflects priorities for Bali Process Member States around countering trafficking in persons, people smuggling and related transnational crime, as the RSO enters its second decade  

Challenges facing Bali Process Member States are growing in scope and complexity—with an increasingly uncertain global status quo leading to new push and pull factors. With a changing landscape across source, transit and destination countries, traditional approaches to addressing smuggling and trafficking are also evolving. Globally, more than 110 million people have been displaced by war, persecution, violence, and human rights abuses. The 2023 Global Slavery Index shows 50 million people in modern slavery across the world—with an estimated seven per cent of all children in the Asia Pacific working in child labour. Against this backdrop, technology advances have facilitated the operations and reach of transnational criminal networks, with those being targeted often younger, educated, computer-literate, and in search of better economic opportunities. 


Our 2022 Annual Report reflects on the work undertaken by the Regional Support Office to address these challenges, whilst simultaneously re-engaging Member States and resetting priorities following the COVID-19 pandemic. This ensured that our efforts were reflective of the growing challenges facing Member States around countering trafficking in persons, people smuggling and related transnational crime, and to guide the RSO’s work into its second decade. 

The Annual Report summarises our 2022 activities and outcomes—and shares insights and inputs received by the RSO from our two flagship events which brought together hundreds of delegates across 40 Member States for the first time in three years—the Bali Process 20th Anniversary Constructive Dialogue and the RSO 10th Anniversary Border and Technology Forum. We would be pleased to provide a short briefing for any interested Bali Process Member State, Working Group, or interested partners, and welcome further feedback and suggestions for activity.  


Building from the Annual Report, the RSO’s 2023 Work Plan sets out our roadmap of key forecasted activities to strengthen practical cooperation on countering people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime—shaped through consultation with Bali Process Member States and reflecting priorities and commitments set out at the Eighth Bali Process Ministerial Conference in the 2023 Adelaide Strategy for Cooperation. 


David Scott, RSO Co-Manager (Australia) said: “As the RSO enters its second decade, we know that the challenges facing Bali Process Member States in countering trafficking in persons, people smuggling and related transnational crime have only grown in complexity—with a changed global landscape following the COVID-19 pandemic and new global pressures resulting from conflict, economic instability and natural and humanitarian disasters placing huge pressure on communities and individuals. Technology advances in turn have facilitated the increased reach, and operational capability of transnational criminal actors, who take advantage of those seeking a better life, and who in turn become vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation. 

The RSO is proud to draw on our strengths as the practical and technical arm of the Bali Process to be responsive, agile and committed in our efforts to build dialogue, and support information and knowledge sharing, and capacity building across Member States. We hope that Bali Process Member States will see their priorities and inputs reflected throughout our ambitious Work Plan—and we look forward to continuing to strengthen partnerships and support for Member States to counter trafficking in persons, people smuggling and related transnational crime.” 

Sukmo Yuwono, RSO Co-Manager (Indonesia) said: “The RSO has witnessed a great appetite for engagement and dialogue from across Bali Process Member States, and we look forward to continuing to work closely across the Bali Process membership to support identified priorities and needs through capability development, and by providing opportunities for continued cooperation and dialogue. As a multilateral and non-binding forum, the Bali Process plays a unique role in its ability to bring Member States together, and the RSO is committed to supporting the Bali Process mandate to effect progress in countering trafficking in persons, people smuggling and related transnational crime to better safeguard those most vulnerable.”