The Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and
Related Transnational Crime took place in Bali, Indonesia on 2 April 2013.
Ministers underscored that strengthening efforts to reduce irregular movement in the region was paramount and urged members to further strengthen implementation of the Regional Cooperation Framework, including through participation in the newly established Regional Support Office (RSO) to develop and implement practical cooperative approaches.
Ministers noted the continuing work under the Regional Cooperation Framework towards consistent assessment process for asylum seekers including, where appropriate and possible, through harmonised arrangements or the establishment of regional assessment arrangements. Ministers encouraged States to second officials to work in the RSO on a project basis and welcomed the participation of Afghanistan as the first country to do so. Ministers also welcomed Thailand’s financial contribution towards RSO activities.
- recognised that law enforcement cooperation and the integrity of border management systems were critical to addressing irregular movement and combating the activities of people smugglers and traffickers. Ministers highlighted the value of linking the Bali Process with the law enforcement training expertise of existing regional centres of excellence. To this end, Ministers agreed the Bali Process would establish cooperation with the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC). Ministers directed the RSO to work with JCLEC to develop a program of cooperation and training which would bring together law enforcement and immigration management experts to build capacity and strengthen the capabilities of member States.
- welcomed Bali Process activities focussed on addressing trafficking in persons and urged members to consider opportunities to achieve more effective and coordinated responses to prevention, investigation and prosecution, and victim protection. Ministers agreed that the Bali Process would establish a working group to specifically focus on addressing trafficking in persons issues. The working group would be led by the Bali Process Ad Hoc Group (AHG), but would be open to all interested Bali Process members.
- welcomed advice from States on progress to strengthen their legal frameworks to criminalise people smuggling and trafficking in persons. Ministers encouraged all States to bolster their legal responses to these crimes and agreed that policy guides be developed to assist policy makers and practitioners to criminalise people smuggling and trafficking in persons. Ministers directed that the RSO, in consultation with interested members, develop guides which could be used by States across a range of domestic agencies to promote a consistent understanding of international legal obligations and assist in developing effective domestic legislation.
- acknowledged the unprecedented number of irregular movements by sea through the Asia Pacific region in 2012 and the considerable impact such movements had on the migration systems of affected States and the loss of life at sea. Ministers recommended
that members give priority to building on the regional roundtable on irregular movements by
sea, hosted by Indonesia and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and further explore practical ways in which affected States could strengthen cooperation in managing irregular maritime movements including through the development of a protection-sensitive regional approach.