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MOWECP, ASEAN Secretariat and UNFPA Facilitate ASEAN Dialogue
on Protecting Victims of Trafficking


Jakarta, 22 October 2013 – Human trafficking is a global crime that affects the most basic human rights of its victims. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes estimates that there are more than 20 million current victims worldwide and that approximately 75% of them are women and girls.


Whilst human trafficking is a worldwide problem, ASEAN countries in particular are significant source and destination countries for victims. There are also relevant cultural and social similarities between the ASEAN countries in terms of the factors that give rise to trafficking. A three-day dialogue on strengthening national capacities to protect victims of trafficking in the ASEAN region is being hosted by in Jakarta by the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Population Fund, the World Health Organization, the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection and the ASEAN Secretariat.


Ms. Alicia Bala, the Deputy Secretary General of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community said, “Trafficking in persons is a priority issue in the ASEAN region and one of the significant reasons is the combination of unemployment and poverty that continue to be addressed by ASEAN Member States individually and collectively.”


In 2004, representatives of ASEAN’s ten member states met in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic and forged the ASEAN Declaration against Trafficking in Persons Particularly Women and Children. They recognized that trafficking in persons is immoral and inhumane and agreed that a successful campaign against the global crime of trafficking in persons requires continuing dialogue, exchange of information and cooperation among ASEAN member states.


This dialogue is part of ASEAN’s commitment on the exchange of views and information sharing on relevant trends, patterns, monitoring mechanisms and applicable legislation for the purposes of combatting trafficking. It will bring together representatives from member states’ health, social and women’s empowerment sectors as well as from civil society to share best practices and lessons learned in protecting and empowering victims of trafficking.


 “The 2004 ASEAN Declaration against trafficking underscored the need to respect and safeguard the dignity and human rights of survivors of trafficking, to ensure that they are treated humanely and provided with such essential medical and other forms of assistance deemed appropriate by receiving countries, including repatriation to their countries of origin,” said UNFPA Representative, Mr. Jose Ferraris at the opening of the meeting and workshop today.


Whilst trafficking can take many forms including forced commercial sexual exploitation, the prostitution of minors, debt bondage and forced labor, it is not an abstract crime, it is crime about people, often leaving victims with devastating physical and psychological injuries.


Mr. Ferraris explained that whilst prevention strategies are to be discussed throughout the dialogue, the focus of the event is strengthening the capacities of the health and social sectors of countries in the ASEAN region to protect and empower survivors of trafficking. This involves empowering those affected, ensuring that they have access to comprehensive support services, including medical and psychosocial assistance. It is also necessary to ensure that they do not face stigma or discrimination upon return to their countries of origin.


Ms. Luly Altruiswaty, Deputy of the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection in Indonesia, further highlighted the fact that all ASEAN member states have signed and/or ratified the 2003 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. She said that the dialogue would provide a good benchmark for ASEAN member states to assess their progress against the goals of the Protocol, to identify ways to strengthen their capacity to handle and prevent cases of trafficking in the future and to strengthen the collaboration between ASEAN countries on this important issue.



For more information, please contact:

Mr. Darmadji

PLH. Kabag Humas

Kementerian Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan

Perlindungan Anak

Medan Merdeka Barat no.11

Jakarta, Indonesia


Ms. Lany Harijanti

National Programme Officer on Gender

United Nations Population Fund

7th Floor Menara Thamrin, Jl M.H. Thamrin, Kav 3

Jakarta, Indonesia

+62-21-3141308, ext 339











UNFPA, the International Organization for Migration, and the World Health Organization are part of the United Nations Joint Programme for the “Protecting and Empowering Victims of Trafficking in Indonesia” (EMPOWER) project funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security.


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