The Bali Process brings Member States together to work on practical measures to help combat people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crimes in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
The Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime was established in 2002 as a non-binding, international, multilateral forum to facilitate cooperation and collaboration, information-sharing and policy development on irregular migration in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Bali Process Working Groups bring together government officials, practitioners and experts from Bali Process Member States and Organisations to progress work around key regional issues and priorities and ensure the Bali Process is responsive to new and emerging challenges.
The Bali Process is co-chaired by the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Australia and Indonesia.
Ministerial Conferences are held every two years to bring together ministerial representation across Bali Process Member States, to review progress and to confirm priorities and future focus areas.
Following a Ministerial Conference, the Co-Chairs release a Co-Chairs Statement and supporting documentation such as an updated Declaration and Strategy for Cooperation, to set out agreed priorities and objectives.
The objectives and priorities of the Bali Process are set out in a Co-Chairs Statement and supporting documents, such as Ministerial Declarations and a Strategy for Cooperation. The Eighth Bali Process Ministerial Conference took place on 10 February 2023, recalling and reaffirming the principles and direction set out in the 2016 and 2018 Ministerial Declarations and Co-Chairs Statements, and recognising enduring priorities from 2018 Strategy for Cooperation, as well as new priorities for cooperation.
The Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime was held over 9-10 February 2023 in Adelaide. The event was co-hosted by Senator The Honourable Penny Wong, Australian Foreign Minister, and Her Excellency Retno Marsudi, the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs
At the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process, Ministers acknowledged regional and global developments that heighten risks for regional instability and occurrences of irregular migration, including ongoing impacts of Covid-19, conflict, misuse of technology, trafficking in persons into online scams, and natural and humanitarian, including climate-related, disasters.
Ministers endorsed an updated 2023 Adelaide Strategy for Cooperation, designed to reinvigorate an agile, relevant, and responsive Bali Process beyond 20 years since its establishment. They reaffirmed the need for a future-focused approach to changing patterns of people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime in the Bali Process region.
The 2023 Adelaide Strategy for Cooperation includes activities conducted by Bali Process Working Groups, other engagement mechanisms, and the Regional Support Office (RSO), focused on eight areas of cooperation.
The eight areas of cooperation are:
(1) Law enforcement
(2) Stakeholder engagement
(3) Information sharing and public information campaigns
(4) Irregular Migration and Related Transnational Crime
(5) Border Management
(6) Victim Protection and Migration Management
(7) Returns and Reintegration
(8) Coordination and support
Ministerial Conferences are held every two years to bring together ministers from across the Bali Process Member States, to review progress against previous objectives, and to confirm priorities and future areas of focus – which are then agreed and set out in an updated Declaration and Strategy for Cooperation.
Senior Officials Meetings take place ahead of Ministerial Conferences, and involve the full membership of the Bali Process. Meetings include presentations from Member States and Member Organisations, Bali Process Working Groups, and the Regional Support Office. The meeting enables a review of developments in the Bali Process region, and progress around activities undertaken. The presentations and discussions are used to shape the agenda for the next Ministerial Conference.
The Bali Process Steering Group is responsible for ensuring Bali Process objectives and priorities reflect regional needs, by taking into account emerging trends and issues. The Steering Group sets the agenda for Ministerial Conferences, and includes Ministerial and Senior Official level representation from Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Thailand and senior representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The group also directs changes to the Bali Process governance – for example, determining any expansion to the Ad Hoc Group membership.
The Ad Hoc Group mechanism allows greater responsiveness in addressing situations impacting rates of trafficking in persons and people smuggling on a case-by-case basis. The group consists of a smaller membership of states who may take collective lead on an issue and maintains a regular program of working group level activities.
The Bali Process Working Groups bring together practitioners and experts from Bali Process Member States and Organisations to progress work around key issues. Dialogue and consensus around new, collaborative approaches are driven through the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons, the Working Group on Disruption of Criminal Networks involved in People Smuggling and Human Trafficking, the Technical Experts Group on Returns and Reintegration, and the Taskforce on Planning and Preparedness.
The Bali Process Government and Business Forum (GABF) provides a strategic platform for constructive engagement with the private sector, bringing together influential business leaders and ministers from across the Bali Process membership. The Forum aims to expand legal and legitimate opportunities for labour migration by promoting and implementing good labour practices throughout supply chains.
The Consultation Mechanism was established following the 2015 irregular migration events in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Ministers at the Sixth Bali Process Ministerial Conference in 2016 acknowledged the need for more agile and timely responses by Bali Process members on time-sensitive migration issues. Ministers agreed to create a mechanism that would authorise the Co-Chairs to consult and convene meetings to discuss specific urgent irregular migration issues and consult with members to formulate possible regional responses. Participation in the meetings is voluntary and non-binding.
The Bali Process brings together 45 Member States and 4 Member Organisations – the International Organization for Migration, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime and the International Labor Organization – as well as 18 Observer States and nine Observer Organisations. Our Member States cover a wide geography across the Asia Pacific and reaching across to Europe and North America.
The Bali Process is co-chaired by the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Australia and Indonesia. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia is responsible for the coordination of Bali Process Official Meetings and Working Groups.