On 2 February 2016, the Co-Chairs of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime hosted the Tenth Meeting Ad Hoc Group Senior Officials (AHG SOM) in Bangkok, Thailand.
In attendance were representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam as well as representatives from UNHCR, UNODC and IOM. Canada attended the meeting as an observer. The RSO Co-Managers also participated in the meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to review the progress of AHG activities and achievements since the Fifth Bali Process Ministerial Conference (BPMC) held on 2 April 2013, and agree on recommendations to the upcoming Bali Process Full Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) to be held on 22 March 2016 and the Sixth BPMC to be held on 23 March 2016 in Bali, Indonesia.
- Members acknowledged the rapid developments around the world, including the Mediterranean, Europe, the Middle East, and in this region, and noted responses by ASEAN, Special Meetings and Retreat on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean, and the Jakarta Declaration Roundtable.
- An updated draft of the Bali Process Strategy for Cooperation was submitted by Co-Chairs. Members agreed for it to remain a ‘living document’ to be able to reflect and adapt to progress, new priorities, changing global and regional context and directions set by Ministers.
- Members agreed on provisional agendas for the upcoming full SOM and BPMC, agreed on priority areas of focus over the next two years and discussed proposed priorities for Ministers’ consideration. Notable recommendations include:
- Adopting a Ministerial Declaration at the Sixth Ministerial Conference.
- Establishing a new Consultation Mechanism to enable the Senior Official Co-Chairs to consult and convene discussions with key members in response to current or emerging regional issues.
- RSO and the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) will develop a catalogue of training and capacity building courses, host a meeting of National Training Directors for Police and Immigration, and hold regular meetings of regional training centres of excellence.
- The RSO was commended for its progress in implementing its 2015-17 Work Plan including through the joint workshops on victim-centred approaches, projects on civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) and labour migration and humanitarian responses, and development of the Policy Framework of the of the Regional Biometric Data Exchange Solution (RBDES).
- Recommendations for members included strengthening efforts to tackle the root causes of irregular migration, developing activities to enhance protection of refugees and displaced persons and to further enhance cooperation and information exchange with other relevant capacity-building and development programs, increasing cooperation on improving access to, and awareness of, safe and legal migration pathways, and continuing to advance and implement RBDES via agreements.
- The Bali Process was advised to establish a Technical Experts Group on best practices for returns and reintegration.
- The Working Group on Trafficking in Persons will provide ongoing support to members in capacity-building.
- Members were encouraged to support the work of the RSO, through seconding staff to the RSO, and actively participating in developing and hosting RSO work plan activities.