On 5 March 2013, the Co-Chairs of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process) hosted the Seventh Meeting of Ad Hoc Group (AHG) Senior Officials in Sydney, Australia.
In attendance were representatives from Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States and Vietnam as well as representatives from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Canada and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) attended the meeting as observers.
Members reflected on the AHG activities and achievements since the Fourth Bali Process Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, held in Bali between 29-30 March 2011, and made recommendations for the upcoming Bali Process Senior Officials Meeting on 1 April 2013 and the Fifth Bali Process Regional Ministerial Conference on 2 April 2013.
- The AHG Progress Report prepared in advance by Bali Process Co-Chairs noted that the operationalization of the RCF through the establishment of the Regional Support Office (RSO) was a key milestone and called for continuing efforts to sustain and strengthen the RSO.
- Members recalled that 2012 marked the 10th Anniversary of the Bali Process, commemorated with a two-day event with the Chairs of other regional consultative processes (RCPs) on migration where Bali Process members shared experiences, lessons learned, strategies for addressing common challenges and possible ways forward for the Bali Process into the next decade.
- Labour trafficking was identified as an important issue for affected Bali Process members to explore. The value of engaging with civil society organisations and the private sector on trafficking in persons was also acknowledged.
- Participants welcomed advice of the United Arab Emirates’ intention to accept the Steering Group’s invitation to join the Bali Process and AHG as the first Gulf Cooperation Council country to join the Bali Process.
- Cooperation between the Bali Process RSO and Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) was welcomed as an opportunity for members to benefit from capacity-building, networking, minimise duplication of training activities and ultimately strengthen regional law enforcement responses.
- Members agreed to establish a working group to better coordinate Bali Process responses to trafficking in persons issues, under the purview of the Ad Hoc Group.
- The RSO was tasked with developing a series of policy guides aimed to assist policy makers and practitioners across the region to inform and advise of the legal obligations under the UNTOC and its protocols.
- Members agreed to further progress the ongoing program of AHG activities by conducting workshops on biometrics and airport security as well as a fifth meeting of the Technical Experts Working Group on Irregular Movements.
- Members were encouraged to maximise the potential of the Bali Process secure web portal as a platform for information sharing and e- Learning by nominating national focal points.