Between 23 and 24 April 2018, The Philippines and Australia co-chaired a Bali Process Technical Experts’ Group on Returns and Reintegration in Manila, Philippines.
In attendance were representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Viet Nam, International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Regional Support Office of the Bali Process (RSO). Canada and United Nations Action for Cooperation Against Trafficking (UN-ACT) attended as observers of the Bali Process.
Participants presented and discussed different issues on the topic of returns and reintegration including:
- managing the welfare of overseas Philippines workers
- the need to manage large groups of migrants
- dignified and safe returns of foreign nationals that do not have a lawful right to reside in the country
- Cambodia’s strategy for assisting and reintegrating victims of trafficking
- IOM’s global Assisted Voluntary Returns and Reintegration (AVRR) programs and
- reintegration assistance by IOM
- readmission policies
- the role of the National Counter Trafficking Committee in the United Arab Emirates
- the use of technology to capture large volumes of biometric data to support regional efforts on reintegration
- United Nations Action for Cooperation Against Trafficking in Persons (UN-ACT) work in the Greater Mekong on reintegration
- Indonesia’s use of information campaigns to address human trafficking
- the RSO facilitated discussions on commonalities and differences around returns and reintegration, lessons learned to support policy development, and identified areas for further discussion.
Participants agreed on the following:
- To further develop the draft policy guide which was circulated and discussed during the meeting to enable consistent understanding relating to returns and reintegration. This will be done with assistance from a drafting committed tasked by the RSO.
- To cooperate and share relevant information and practices relating to returns and reintegration.
- Participants agreed to the draft Terms of Reference (TOR) which envisage that the Group will reconvene in early 2019.