The Co-Chairs of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process) hosted the sixth Senior Officials Meeting in Bali on 22 March 2016.
Participants affirmed the continuing concerns regarding human trafficking, particularly labour trafficking, in the Asia-Pacific region, and its links with related transnational crime. The Meeting welcomed the establishment of the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, as directed by the Fifth
Ministerial Conference and the implementation of its forward work plan through the convening of Regional Symposium on Trafficking for the Purposes of Labour Exploitation in Bangkok (25-26 March 2015).
Participants commended the Regional Support Office (RSO) and participating members for their work in producing the Bali Process Policy Guides on Criminalizing Migrant Smuggling and Criminalizing Trafficking in Persons, as directed by the Fifth Ministerial Conference. The Meeting also welcomed the subsequent Policy Guides on Identification of Victims of Trafficking and Protection of Victims of Trafficking, and the further work being undertaken to promote the use of
the policy guides, including training for officials and translation of the guides into key regional languages.
Participants welcomed progress of the partnership between the RSO and the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) and its planned activities including a catalogue of training and capacity building courses, and regular meetings of regional training centres of excellence and
National Training Directors.
Participants reaffirmed the importance to international asylum systems of the return of persons found not to be owed international protection, and welcomed the recommendations of the Bali Process Roundtable on Returns and Reintegration (Manila, 3-4 December 2015), including
establishing a Technical Experts Group to exchange best practices with respect to returns and reintegration, and development of model readmission agreements for use by interested member states.
The way forward
Participants welcomed the convening of the two Special Meetings on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean (29 May and 4 December 2015), and took note of the proposed action plan for the five affected countries.
Members welcomed inputs from the Track II Dialogue on Forced Migration, and supported the recommendation to review the regional response to last year’s irregular migration events in the Andaman Sea, and share the lessons among Bali Process members. This would also identify
recommendations to improve national and regional contingency planning and preparedness.
Participants also endorsed the proposal to have a mechanism of the Bali Process consultation mechanism, to enable the Co-Chairs to consult and convene meetings with affected and interested members in response to current regional issues or future emergency situations.
The Meeting agreed on the proposed agenda of the Sixth Bali Process Ministerial Conference, focusing on current challenges, trends and responses in irregular migration in the region. The Meeting also agreed to submit the draft Bali Declaration on People Smuggling, Trafficking in
Persons and Related Transnational Crime to be considered and adopted by the Ministerial Conference. The Declaration reflects Bali Process’ concerns and commitment towards addressing irregular migration of persons under the principle of burden sharing and collective responsibility.
Members agreed on the draft text to be recommended to Ministers for consideration.