Brunei Darussalam, as Chair of the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC) in 2021, will continue to give its steadfast support to both regional and international efforts to combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP). This was stated by Acting Permanent Secretary (Security, Enforcement and Law) at the Prime Minister’s Office Haji Sufian bin Haji Sabtu in his capacity as SOMTC Leader-Brunei Darussalam and Chairman of SOMTC, in his closing remarks at the ASEAN SOMTC Workshop Consultation on the ASEAN-Australia Counter-Trafficking Work Plan 2020-2023 yesterday afternoon.
The consultation workshop was hosted and chaired virtually by the Republic of the Philippines with the support of Australia, and was attended by all ASEAN member states.
Haji Sufian said that security and enforcement agencies in this region need to be ready to face evolving trends in transnational criminal activities during the post-COVID-19 era, especially in the fight against human trafficking.
Therefore, according to the acting permanant secretary who is also Chairman of the National Committee on Trafficking in Persons, SOMTC needs to adopt the learnings and experiences from the COVID-19 pandemic into future plans and work programmes, such as the ASEAN-Australia Counter-Trafficking Work Plan 2020-2023 and the SOMTC Work Programme being reviewed under Brunei Darussalam’s Chairmanship of SOMTC.
The consultation workshop is a platform for ASEAN member states to discuss initatives planned under the ASEAN-Australia Counter-Trafficking Work Plan 2020-2023 aimed to support the implementation of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons.
During the consultation workshop, ASEAN member states including Brunei Darussalam shared their countries’ experiences in dealing with the changing trend of human trafficking activities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Workshop participants also discussed and explored the activities planned under the ASEAN-Australia Counter Trafficking Work Plan 2020-2023. Brunei Darussalam’s delegation to the consultation workshop comprised senior officers from the Prime Minister’s Office and agencies under the National Committee on Trafficking in Persons. The session was held virtually at the International Convention Centre, Berakas.