The Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime

Working Group on Disruption of Criminal Networks Involved in People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons

The Bali Process Working Group on the Disruption of People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons Networks focuses on concrete, action oriented activities for enhancing coordination to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks involved in people smuggling and trafficking in persons in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Working Group is co-chaired by New Zealand and Sri Lanka and reports annually to the Bali Process Ad Hoc Group (AHG). It brings together a network of officials involved in aspects of national security, law enforcement, and border control from the fifteen countries that form the Ad Hoc Group membership.

At the Eighth AHG Senior Officials' Meeting on 6 August, 2014 in Canberra, AHG member countries endorsed the establishment of, and terms of reference for, the Working Group. A Forward Work Plan was developed at an initial Roundtable on Migration and Transnational Crime held under the auspices of the Regional Support Office (RSO) in Bangkok on 24 September, 2015.

The Working Group met for the first time on 19 May, 2015. At this meeting, the co-chairs proposed that the Working Group collectively plans, coordinates, and carries out a Joint Period of Action to disrupt people smuggling and trafficking in persons networks. The initiative was welcomed by the AHG member countries.

1st Joint Period of Action

Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Thailand participated in the 1st Joint Period of Action, which was carried out from 28 September to 28 October 2015. INTERPOL provided support.  Trafficking for sexual and labour exploitation was investigated across a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, farming, fishing, beauty services, and domestic work.  Criminal networks involved in the online commercial sexual exploitation of children were also targeted.

    In total, authorities in the eight countries:

  • Assisted 59 trafficked persons
  • Executed seven search warrants and identified 63 suspects
  • Made 32 arrests and launched eight new investigations
  • Made over 70 bilateral and international enquires to progress trafficking in persons and people smuggling investigations
  • Conducted 68 awareness-raising activities, including for employers, civil society, and vulnerable groups 
  • Carried out 12 training sessions and trained 485 police, airport, immigration, and compliance officers throughout the region
  • Gathered useful intelligence on the traffickers and smugglers involved and their modus operandi

A Joint Period of Action Debrief meeting was held in Bangkok on 25 November 2015 with the AHG member countries to discuss what outcomes were achieved, what worked well, what did not work well, and what should be done differently.

2nd Joint Period of Action

Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the USA are participating in the 2nd Joint Period of Action.  Building on lessons learnt, authorities from the ten countries are working together on nine separate joint or parallel investigations to disrupt people smuggling or trafficking networks over a six month period from May to November 2016.

3rd Joint Period of Action

Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United States are participating in the  3rdJoint Period of Action.  

 

Meetings

Roundtable on Migration and Transnational Crime
- Bangkok, 24 September 2015

First Meeting of the Working Group on the Disruption of People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons
- Bangkok 19 May 2015

Joint Period of Action Planning Meeting of the Working Group on the Disruption of People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons - Bangkok 1-2 September 2015

Joint Period of Action Debrief Meeting of the Working Group on the Disruption of People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons - Bangkok 25 November 2015

2nd Joint Period of Action Planning Meeting of the Working Group on the Disruption of People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons - Bangkok 19 May 2016

Activities

1st Joint Period of Action: 28 September – 28 November 2015

2nd Joint Period of Action: 19 May – 20 November 2016

Contact

For more information on the Working Group, contact CRIS-BusinessSupport@mbie.govt.nz