The second Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime took place in Bali from 28 to 30 April 2003.
Australian Foreign Minister Downer and Indonesian Foreign Minister, Dr Hassan Wirajuda co-hosted the event. Ministers from 33 Member States and Organisations and 27 Observer States and Organisations reaffirmed the general principles on combating people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime, as outlined in the Co-Chairs’Statement from the first Bali Regional Ministerial Conference.
- urged the international community to assist source countries to address the root causes of the illegal movement of people by providing emergency aid, development assistance, direct support programs for displaced persons and to address the plight of refugees.
- emphasised that border security was a key component of national and global security.
- welcomed the activities of the two Ad Hoc Experts’ Groups established at the first Bali Regional Ministerial Conference.
- called on the international community to provide humanitarian and reconstruction support and assistance to Iraq and to other post-conflict countries, particularly to those people in need of protection and humanitarian aid.
- discussed the links between people smuggling, trafficking in persons and other forms of transnational crime and were concerned that many of the smuggling and trafficking activities were being orchestrated by criminal networks that were also involved in the trafficking of narcotics, document fraud, money laundering, arms smuggling, terrorism and other transnational crimes.
- recognised that regional cooperation in combating terrorism had benefited from the increased regional recognition of the importance of cooperation in combating transnational crimes. In this context, Ministers noted that the past twelve months had borne witness to shocking and indiscriminate acts of terrorism in the Asia Pacific region, including the Bali bombings of 12 October 2002.
- agreed on the need for strong national legislation criminalising these activities, strong law enforcement mechanisms and cooperation in the effective prosecution of such activities in accordance with domestic law.
- further recognised that the experiences across the region over the past year have shown that regional and bilateral cooperation can achieve highly successful outcomes in combating people smuggling, trafficking in persons and other transnational crimes.
Ministers recommended that:
A. States enhance their focus on tackling the root causes of illegal migration, and seek a comprehensive understanding of these issues and solutions that involve increased inter-regional cooperation.
B. States build on the successes of the past year, and use the voluntary cooperative mechanisms that have been developed to promote sustainable and effective measures to combat people smuggling, trafficking in persons and other transnational crimes that threaten States in the region.
C. States increase their efforts to combat people smuggling and trafficking in persons, including by enacting national legislation to criminalise these activities.
D. States welcome cooperation able to be provided by IOM and UNHCR, consistent with their respective mandates, to assist in the follow-up work arising from the Bali Process.
E. IOM continues in its efforts, in close cooperation with States, to promote the orderly flow of migration in the Asia Pacific region.