On 1 June 2012, the Co-Chairs of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process) hosted the Sixth Meeting of Ad Hoc Group (AHG) Senior Officials in Bali, Indonesia.
In attendance were representatives from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam as well as representatives from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Canada and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) attended the meeting as observers.
The purpose of the meeting was to reflect on progress since the Fifth AHG Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), held in Sydney on 12 October 2011, and to take forward implementation of the Regional Cooperation Framework (RCF) through establishment of a Regional Support Office (RSO), as directed by Ministers at the Fourth Bali Process Ministerial Conference in March 2011.
Participants agreed to advance the work of the AHG by:
- continuing progress on the establishment of RILON through States’ internal mechanisms.
- hosting a Technical Experts Working Group on Irregular Movements by Malaysia.
- conducting a workshop on integrity of visa processes for foreign mission staff, hosted in Thailand.
- Including in the AHG work plan a workshop on ratification and implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC)
- maintaining progress on establishing a Regional Support Office (RSO) in Bangkok to take forward the development of practical measures to implement the Regional Cooperation Framework (RCF):
– Australia had shared an overview of recommendations from the RSO Working Group, endorsed by the Steering Group at its meeting on 31 May 2012 and agreed by Ad Hoc Group members; Members also agreed that AHG SOM Co-Chairs would report to Bali Process Co-Chair Ministers on the SOM decision.
- The recommendations proposed governance and reporting structures and an initial 12-month work plan. Participants agreed that the work of the RSO would reflect all Bali Process themes: people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related translational crime.
- Australia outlined next steps for operationalising the RSO by early July 2012 noting that Australian and Indonesian co-managers would be appointed shortly. Members were encouraged to begin considering seconding a government official to the office for six to 12 months to undertake specific project-based work.
- Members agreed to task the RSO with the following activities:
- provision of technical training and assistance on protection of victims of trafficking.
- law enforcement and international cooperation in combating trafficking in persons.
- refugee protection and migration management
- UNHCR proposal: mapping the protection needs of unaccompanied and separated children who move irregularly.
- utilizing the Bali Process as a platform to strengthen cooperation among members to address the problem of trafficking in persons; this included openness to initiatives such as:
- developing a formal networking mechanism for information sharing among officials
- conducting workshops catered to the needs of law enforcement officials including judges, to ensure a coordinated approach to criminal justice challenges to combat trafficking in persons.
- endorsing a Steering Group recommendation to invite the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to become a member of the Bali Process and Ad Hoc Group, subject to the endorsement of Bali Process members.
- agreeing to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Bali Process in 2012; Co-Chairs welcomed proposals by members and undertook to report on a decision, once made.
Bali Process Ad Hoc Group Workshop on Visa Integrity for Foreign Mission Staff – Bangkok, Thailand, 23-26 July 2012
Bali Process Ad Hoc Group Workshop on Biometrics for Identity Integrity in Immigration – New Delhi, India, 23-26 April 2012
Bali Process Ad Hoc Group on Immigration Intelligence Best Practice Workshop
- Auckland, New Zealand, 7-10 February 2012