The Working Group on Disruption of Criminal Networks Involved in People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons (Working Group on Disruption of Criminal Networks) is co-chaired by New Zealand and Viet Nam and reports annually to the Bali Process Ad Hoc Group. It brings together a network of officials involved in aspects of law enforcement, and border control from the sixteen countries that form the Ad Hoc Group membership, plus Fiji and Interpol.
The Group is focused on delivering practical activities to enhance coordination amongst Bali Process members to disrupt and dismantle criminal networks involved in people smuggling and trafficking in persons in the region. This is undertaken through the Working Group on Disruption of Criminal Networks’ Joint Period of Action, which typically involves two or more countries simultaneously targeting the same people smuggling or trafficking in persons syndicates through information exchange and coordinated investigative efforts in the participating countries.
The establishment of, and terms of reference for, the Working Group on Disruption of Criminal Networks was agreed at the Eighth Ad Hoc Group Senior Officials’ Meeting on 6 August 2014 in Canberra.
The Forward Work Plan 2021-23 sets out key priorities and activities for the Working Group on Disruption of Criminal Networks:
- Put together a compendium of successful cross-border people smuggling and trafficking in persons joint operations and cases, including those based on historical Joint Periods of Action
- Conduct a simulation-based exercise on people smuggling and trafficking in persons investigations.
- Conduct a Joint Period of Action in 2023, facilitating tangible outcomes from larger and longer-term investigations to be progressed and reported on
- Provide training opportunities and presentations on trends, policies and tools by international organisations or other Ad Hoc Group members
- Collaboration with the Working Group on Trafficking in Persons on enhancing a victim-centred approach and identifying trafficking indicators in cases of people smuggling
- Collaboration with the Technical Experts Group on Returns and Reintegration on operationalising repatriation
- Collaboration with the Task Force on Planning and Preparedness on maritime people smuggling and enhancing co-operation between source, transit and destination countries.