The Seventh Senior Officials Meeting of the Bali Process was held in Bali, Indonesia, on
6 August 2018. The meeting reviewed developments in the Bali Process region and
activities undertaken within the Bali Process working groups, other engagement
mechanisms and the Regional Support Office (RSO). It considered priorities for the
Seventh Bali Process Ministerial Conference on 7 August 2018.
The meeting acknowledged the regional and global challenges of displacement and
irregular migration. It noted that these challenges pose social, economic and security
concerns for affected countries. It expressed concern about the abuse of persons by
people smugglers and human traffickers. It underlined that the transnational nature of
irregular migration requires a comprehensive regional approach.
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) drew attention to the challenges of irregular
migration and the need for predictable search and rescue, disembarkation and
reception measures to respond in a victim and protection-sensitive manner. It
emphasised that access to livelihoods, justice and expanded migration pathways
can prevent smuggling and trafficking of persons vulnerable to exploitation.
- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) highlighted its activities to
counter trafficking in persons in the context of crises, and the importance of data
collection and sharing on irregular migration movements. It noted the role of the
private sector in eliminating modern slavery in supply chains.
- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) outlined key patterns of
people smuggling and trafficking in persons in the region. It emphasised the
importance of data collection, recent trends and information sharing to counter
- The Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (ADFM) noted its engagement with the Bali
Process and ASEAN on forced migration challenges, including the risk of displaced
persons becoming victims of people smuggling and trafficking in persons. It saw
the Bali Process as uniquely placed to facilitate policy dialogue and coordinate
action on these issues, to collaborate with ASEAN to counteract trafficking, and to
assist with safe, voluntary and sustainable return of those displaced.
Current and future priorities
The meeting welcomed the significant momentum in Bali Process cooperation to
support implementation of the 2016 Bali Declaration and other commitments made by
Ministers at the Sixth Ministerial Conference. Bali Process cooperation was being driven
through engagement on irregular migration situations, working groups and other
engagement mechanisms, the Government and Business Forum and the initiatives
pursued by the RSO. The meeting reviewed highlights of these activities.
Engagement on irregular migration
The meeting welcomed that the Consultation Mechanism first met in October 2017 to
explore the perspectives of relevant members on the mass displacement of persons in
the region. The meeting commended the senior official Co-Chairs’ ‘Good Offices’
outreach with relevant countries in May 2018, and the commitment of those countries to
remain engaged with the Bali Process. The RSO reported on its visits to those affected
countries in July 2018 to explore possible capacity building assistance.
The meeting welcomed the establishment of the Government and Business Forum,
which held its inaugural meeting in August 2017. It commended the objective of the
Forum to contribute to ending human trafficking, forced labour, modern slavery and the
worst forms of child labour. It noted that the Forum would complement and support
global efforts to eradicate these crimes. It valued the extensive consultations and work
undertaken by participating businesses, and the business Co-Chairs and Secretariat, to