On 6 May 2015, the Co-Chairs of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and related Transnational Crime hosted the Ninth Meeting of the Ad Hoc Group Senior Officials in Wellington, New Zealand.
In attendance were representatives from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam as well as representatives from UNHCR, UNODC and the IOM. Canada attended the meeting as an observer. The Regional Support Office of the Bali Process (RSO) Co-Managers also participated in the meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to review progress and activities since the 8th AHG SOM, consider a new updated draft of the Bali Process Strategy, update members on activities of the Bali Process Working Groups on Trafficking in Persons and Disruption of Criminal Networks involved in People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons, and review the RSO work plan for 2015-17.
- Members welcomed the progress made in the development of a regional mechanism to facilitate the exchange of biometric data between interested member countries - an initiative supported by the RSO and IOM.
- Members agreed to hold a roundtable in late 2015 to explore different models of bilateral and regional cooperation to facilitate returns and removals of persons found not to be owed protection to their countries of origin, consistent with the Regional Cooperation Framework and the Jakarta Declaration.
- Australia and Indonesia will pursue a pilot joint information campaign aimed at preventing people smuggling and trafficking in persons, using the handbook developed by the RSO as a reference. Source and transit countries were encouraged to consider participation.
- Members endorsed a second set of Bali Process policy guides on the Identification and Protection of Trafficking Victims.
- The Working Group on Trafficking in Persons will promote the Bali Process Policy Guides and identify training and capacity building opportunities to support their implementation. Members advised that the Working Group should consider engaging the business sector and coordinating with the RSO as part of its work program.
- Members expressed support for taking forward the work of the Working Group on Disruption of Criminal Networks involved in People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons with a Joint Period of Action, whereby interested members collectively plan and carry out coordinated law enforcement measures within their own national jurisdictions, over the same designated period.
- Members commended the RSO’s progress and welcomed its work plan for 2015-17. They encouraged financial contributions and seconded officers to the RSO, as well as engagement with RSO work plan activities.
- The RSO and the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) partnership has been formalised and set to improve access to training in the region.
Bali Process Ad Hoc Group Roundtable on Returns and Reintegration – Manila, Philippines, 3-4 December 2015