| Azlan Othman |
EXPERTS from Asean member countries, the Australia-Asia Programme to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP) and the Asean Secretariat are in the country for a three-day Heads of Specialist Units (HSU) regional workshop on trafficking in persons.
The chairperson of the workshop, Kevin Chiuh Ted Voon, Acting Deputy Director from Criminal Investigation Department of the Royal Brunei Police Force, said this workshop provides a very important platform for all Asean member nations to come together to discuss pertinent issues on how to strengthen cross border cooperation in addressing regional challenges on trafficking in persons, which in most cases are transnational in nature.
The workshop, which was held at Orchid Garden Hotel, carries the title ‘Strengthening Cross Border Investigative Cooperation Among Asean Member Countries and Enhancing the Operational Effectiveness of the HSU Process’.
Meanwhile, Mariness Ledesma, a representative of Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) from the Philippines, said transnational crime is not limited to any single country or on any particular region.
It is a social problem that crosses beyond borders.
“We gather here to make sure that these offenders are brought to justice in the fastest and most efficient way possible and to ensure that people back home that they are safe, secure and protected by their respective governments.”
She shared the recent report by the State Department that more than 20 million individuals worldwide fall victims to human trafficking annually, and according to a report of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the human trafficking industry generates 32 billion dollars yearly, half of which is sourced from industrialised countries and approximately a third is generated in Asia.